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

Wednesday 30th September 2015

Ridgway's Cackling Goose at Exmouth Mudbank

On arrival the Ridgway's Cackling Goose was seen from a distance in the middle of the Exe estuary at 10:40 hrs near the water cafe with c350 mostly dark bellied Brent Geese before the sandbar re-appeared. On the outgoing high-tide it was seen several times flying around and landing before it eventually landed closer and feeding on the eelgrass behind the bus station for a brief period before moving off futher up the river again.

Link to video.

Ridgway's Cackling Goose  (near Exmouth bus station)
Ridgway's Cackling Goose (near Exmouth bus station)

Ridgway's Cackling Goose  (near Exmouth bus station)
Ridgway's Cackling Goose (near Exmouth bus station)

Posted September 30th, 2015 at 10:53 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Otter Estuary, Budleigh Salterton

A Turtle Dove early this morning on the main trail N from the Lime Kiln car park and a Barnacle Goose in with the Canada Geese on the estuary this evening.

Posted September 30th, 2015 at 10:01 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding


The Rustic Bunting ringed on Sunday has reappeared today, Wednesday 30th September. For further details, including information about tomorrow's sailing to Lundy, see here.

Posted September 30th, 2015 at 6:23 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Rung ~ juvenile Great Black-Backed Gull at Broadsands

Following the sighting of a juvenile Great Black-backed Gull at Broadsands yesterday I recieved the following this morning:~
Many thanks for the record and photograph. I can confirm that D:BE is one of the Goldcliff Ringing Group's birds.
Ringed 8 June 2014 on Denny Island, Bristol Channel
Sighted 29 September at Broadsands, Paignton, Devon
Distance/duration: 135km, SSW, 1 year 113 days
Yours is the first sighting since the bird was ringed.
6AA8 has been sighted at Broadsands previously and was rung in on Guernsey earlier this year.

Posted September 30th, 2015 at 8:58 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Tuesday 29th September 2015

Monday Bowling Green Marsh

A late evening look on Monday for high tide. Highlights Spotted Redshank, 18 Greenshank, 5 Ruff, 44 Avocets. And a busy Peregrine. 

Posted September 29th, 2015 at 10:28 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

East Soar

Visited with Paul Kemp. 0850-1400. A busy start with lots of Meadow Pipits (120+), Skylarks (140+) & Swallows (250+) on the move. Flushed an early Short-eared Owl near Middle Soar. 4 Wheaters on the Warren.  Swallows and some House Martins (60+) moving all day across very broad front and up to several miles in land. Although each flock was small the overall movement must have been in 1000's of Swallows across area. Few Sand Martin's too. Land birds however missing. Whinchat, 3 Goldcrest, 4 Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff, Whitethroat was our lot. Coal Tit in Willows was more interesting as was 11 Kestrels in sky together over Starehole. 

Finally 27 Ringed Plover & 8 Dunlin in field by car park. 

Posted September 29th, 2015 at 10:25 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Torbay area

Stoke Gabriel area, good numbers of low flying Swallows battling the strong easterly winds, Jay, Little Egret, Heron.

Galmpton area, Kestrel mobbed by Crow and Magpies, Little Egret (3) Starlings.

Broadsands, Heron flying over and another seen on the shore line, Two rung juvenile Great Black -backed Gulls on the beach (ring numbers 6AA8 and DBE both rings yellow in colour) Oystercatchers, Pied Wagtails, two Rooks flew into the gathering of gulls and crows, no small birds of note to be seen around the car parks.

Clennon Valley, good numbers of both Coot and Moorhen (24), Little Grebe (3), Kingfisher, Tufted Duck (3), Sparrowhawk, Heron.

Jays and Magpies showing just about everywhere between South Brent and Torbay.

Posted September 29th, 2015 at 7:06 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Berry Head

Yellow-browed Warbler again but only heard today - conditions far from ideal for locating a small warbler in swaying branches. Firecrest in sheltered quarry bottom, 14 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap, 1 Treecreeper, 4 Coal Tit, 1 Stonechat. 

Posted September 29th, 2015 at 1:12 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Monday 28th September 2015

Mudbank Lane, Exe Estuary

Distant views of the Canada Goose sp or sub sp ( presumed Cackling minima) from 4pm till 5pm in glorious sunshine. Would like better views so hope it hangs around.Given conditions credit to finder and to Dave Stone for images on Birdguides.

Posted September 28th, 2015 at 10:29 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

East Prawle, S Devon

Pigs Nose Valley and the coastal footpath east was the area explored by 9 members of DB (East Devon Branch).  The valley produced distant views of a Whitethroat and Cirl Buntings and then 3 Wheatear.  Small flocks of Linnet, Meadow Pipit and Goldfinch were ever present with Swallow and House Martin constantly overhead.  2 Kestrel put in an appearance over the valley and were later seen again along the coastal footpath.  Stonechats seemed present in numbers throughout the day and a Redstart was seen briefly on rocks above Macetey Cove.  A flock of c50 Linnet circled the fields and drank from a small stream.  A few Gannet were seen in the bay.

Lunch was enjoyed briefly below the car park and a Grey Heron made a fast flyby with the help of the stiff breeze and the remaining walk along the coast produced more Cirls, Wheatears and Stonechats but nothing of note.  A great walk.

Posted September 28th, 2015 at 7:21 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Shipley, South Brent and the Exe estuary yesterday

Shipley to the Avon Dam mid-afternoon gave 20 identified species and a couple of unidentified Warbler sp near the old pumping house area. Two Kestrels showing well, two Raven mobbing a Buzzard that then mobbed them, Green Woodpecker, Dipper showed really well on the way back, one female Blackcap, Meadow Pipit numbers increasing but a notable drop off in the Tit and Warbler numbers.
At the car park a flock of 100 plus House Martins feeding on something in the canopy of the Ash tree at the entrance.

Kestrel seen hovering alongside the road dropping down to Harbourne X.

Couple of locals stopped to chat on the way up and confirmed recent Ring Ouzel reports but they/it still evaded me.

A morning up on the Exe from Turf down to Starcross yesterday (27th Sept) no Ospreys to be seen, but sure signs of the autumn, large flocks of Greenfinch and Goldfinch, the Starling numbers continue to grow, very few small waders on the dropping tide (they were all at Starcross) 
Very surprised to see a Buzzard try to take a Little Egret.
Meadow Pipits, only the one Ringed Plover a couple of Wheatear sightings possibly the same bird

Star Cross gave good numbers of Redshank, Oyster catcher, one Greenshank, one Turnstone, one Rock Pipit and small numbers of Curlew.

Posted September 28th, 2015 at 6:42 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Berry Head

Highlights this morning were a Lesser Whitethroat in bushes by coastguard station and a Yellow-browed Warbler in the sycamore copse just north of the meadow cattle trough (in recent years the Lesser Whitethroat is the better bird at Berry Hd!). Also 8 Coal Tits around the headland and 13 Goldcrest.

Posted September 28th, 2015 at 11:57 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Instow/Isley Marsh

Isley Marsh has 3 Spoonbill now. Same ringed one as other day. Also 4 Grey Plover, Redshank, Dunlin.

Towards Instow from here, a Whitethroat, plus 2 Chiffchaff, ~50 Meadow Pipit, 20 Skylark, 10 Rock Pipit, 20 alba Wagtail, 100 Goldfinch, Swallow nest still active.

Posted September 28th, 2015 at 11:52 am by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Sunday 27th September 2015

Holdstone down exmoor

A mid morning walk around holdstone down this morning provided 2 female wheatears, 4 stonechat, 20+ meadow pipits,several small flocks of skylarks of about 40 birds in all, housemartins and swallows darting up the coast completely the opposite direction of 3 or so weeks ago.

Posted September 27th, 2015 at 8:51 pm by philip worth in General Birding


A Rustic Bunting was ringed today; see here for more details.

Posted September 27th, 2015 at 6:04 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Northam Burrows

From my garden looking out over Northam Burrows small groups of House Martin flying S.E. 5 - 10 in a group.

Posted September 27th, 2015 at 3:54 pm by ROD MUDGE in General Birding

Saturday 26th September 2015


Crossbill heard over at 15.45 { Dawn Barford present too]

Posted September 26th, 2015 at 10:26 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Prawle area

Birds of the day were the Common Quail (seen by John L and myself) and the Osprey ( seen by Pat M ) Yellow Wag , 3 Wheatears and 1 Spotted Flycatcher as well as a smattering of common migrants. Higher numbers of Meadow Pipits (350-400), Linnets (200-250) and Hirundines (  c 400 with Swallows/House Martins. In equal numbers plus a couple of Sand Martins) 

Posted September 26th, 2015 at 8:23 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Ring Tailed Harrier

Adjacent to Kinsford Gate Exmoor Devon/Somerset Border about 11.30 this morning

Posted September 26th, 2015 at 6:38 pm by Jeremy Hickman in General Birding

Slapton Ley

The 2 Red-crested Pochards still at the Torcross end.

Migration - small flocks of Siskin, Greenfich, Linnet and Goldfinch over during the morning and a light passage of Swallows >S, a few Meadow Pipits going through. Plenty of Chiff-Chaffs around (50+), 3 Wheatear, 2 Blackcap and still some Sedge Warblers (3) and Reed Warblers (2) pesent.

Posted September 26th, 2015 at 3:37 pm by David Cope in General Birding

Isley Marsh

Two Spoonbill 11.30 asleep, out from the marsh on a sandbank. One ringed Green-yellow flag-green, Blue-metal-lime back again from Netherlands. 

Osprey out circling over the Taw 11.30. 

Also Turnstone, Little Egret, Grey Heron. 

Posted September 26th, 2015 at 12:38 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Berry Head

0700hrs-0930hrs Perhaps too clear today overhead migration was almost too high to see.Redpoll sp. 2, Meadow Pipit 24, Goldfinch 28, Linnet 7, Grey Wagtail 3, 'alba' Wagtail 9, Siskin 9, Starling 2, House Sparrow 4, Skylark 1.

Around the headland:Chiffchaff 12, Goldcrest 5, Coal Tit 3 (britannicus) , Blackcap 2.

Yesterday 0700-0930hrs, overhead: Meadow Pipit 16, Goldfinch 55, Linnet 13,Greenfinch 4, Grey Wagtail 2, 'alba' Wagtail 8, Rook 1.

Around Headland: Chiffchaff 18, Goldcrest 10, Willow Warbler 1, Blackcap 7, Whitethroat 1, Coal Tit 6 (one  - not bird in photograph below - looked particularly grey on upper parts in shade of quarry but on close inspection showed olive streaks on mantle).

 Coal Ti britannicus Berry Hd 25 Sep 2015 ML

Posted September 26th, 2015 at 11:48 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Friday 25th September 2015


while having an early evening pt in the quay 22 adult med gulls flew past at 18:00

Posted September 25th, 2015 at 9:01 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Our Housemartin chicks today 25th September

Will 'our' housemartin chicks still be in their nest in October?

Posted September 25th, 2015 at 8:13 pm by Andrew P Gooch in General Birding


A lovely sunny day to walk along the river. A Kingfisher on the wall and later obligingly perched on the Turf lockgates.

Good numbers of Wheatear and Pied Wagtails along the path. In the river counted 6 Curlew and 6 Little Egret  on the incoming tide.

Posted September 25th, 2015 at 4:50 pm by alan clements in General Birding

East Soar

Looks like I dipped out on a Red-breasted Flycatcher - hopefully will be refound tomorrow. Otherwise first major Meadow Pipit movement with 360 generally moving west, 180 Swallow, Yellow Wagtail, Robin 34, Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 2 Blackcap and just a single Goldcrest.

Posted September 25th, 2015 at 3:46 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Ospreys at Portworthy Mica Dam

14.30-ish on Wednesday 23 September watched from a distance 2 Ospreys circling low over the water of the mica dam for approx 20mins.  c. 40 Mallard seemed unconcerned.  They then perched on adjacent conifers before getting mobbed by Crows, then disappearing.  Unable to tell age of birds as no binocs to hand. 

Posted September 25th, 2015 at 9:55 am by Michel Ragody Hughes in General Birding

Thursday 24th September 2015

Harford Moor birds

Still at least three wheatear on the moor - two on the side of Three Barrows and one past Lefltlake.  Also saw 3 kestrels, several ravens and plenty of meadow pippits.  Also small flock of linnets nearer Cantrell gate.

Posted September 24th, 2015 at 6:56 pm by Ann Willcocks in General Birding

Hartland Point


2 Sooty Shearwater, 1 balearic shearwater, 3 manx, 4 common scoter, 3 kittiwake, 5 distant terns

Posted September 24th, 2015 at 10:51 am by Rupert Kirkwood in General Birding

Wednesday 23rd September 2015

Bowling green marsh

watched from 14:45 till 17:00

from the hide 1 spoonbill, 1 spotted redshank , 1 knot, 550+ black tailed godwits , 12+ Dublin, 150+ redshank, 12+ lapwing, 220+ wigeon, 200+ teal, 20+ pintail, 20+ shoveler 1 kestrel, 2 buzzard.

best bird was a female Merlin which flew through nearly catching a sand Martin 

from the viewing platform among 1000+ black headed gulls were 18+ avocet and 3 Mediterranean gulls( 2 adults and a 1st winter) 

Posted September 23rd, 2015 at 10:03 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Prawle area

Prompted by Jonathon's report as hadn't planned a vis mig but about 10 in a WSW 3-4 noted 35 Siskins,111 Meadow Pipits, 60 Goldfinches,82 Linnets and c. 20 Chaffinches all west. Also 8 Yellow a Wagtails , 2 White Wagtails and 160 + hirundines, mainly Swallows. However prior to this,from 7.30am a mini fall of 46 Phylloscs,mainly Chiffchaffs, and 35 Blackcaps in the car park area. Autumnal feeling enhanced by addition of 2 Song Thrushes at Bunkers and, in Pig's Nose valley a Firecrest. No flycatcher species though.

Posted September 23rd, 2015 at 9:50 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding


Spotted Flycatcher in our garden in the centre of Braunton late afternoon. 

Posted September 23rd, 2015 at 7:36 pm by Kelvin Irwin in General Birding

Plym Est - OSPREY

OSPREY Report from Philip Martin Phillips:

At 14:15hrs a single bird was seen to fly down the estuary towards Laira bridge

Posted September 23rd, 2015 at 5:48 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Weston Cliffs- Salcombe Hill Cliff (East Devon)

Vis. Mig. at 10.00hrs with flocks of Goldfinch, Linnet and M.Pipits moving through continually over fields at Weston Cliffs.  Sparrow Hawk overhead chased off by Crow.  Ravens in valley heard.  I later moved west to Salcombe Hill (Sidmouth) but nothing passing through at 12.00.  The walks did me good!

Posted September 23rd, 2015 at 4:43 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Tuesday 22nd September 2015

Bowling green marsh

A quick look around this afternoon after a txt about a Firecrest on the marsh watched from 14:40 till 16:50

On the walk down to the hide the mixed tit flock started moving through by the bridge over the railway line lots of long tailed tits with great tit, blue tit and 2 coal tits and towards the back of the group was the firecrest quickly moving through not on bowling green marsh but still a good bird.

the spoonbill was still viewable from the hide most waders were moving out  so had a look from the viewing platform between showers 

60+ dunlin various groups , 5 grey plover, 1 common sandpiprer, 1 adult winter mediterranean gull lots of redshank and 10+ greenshanks, 1 peregrine.



Posted September 22nd, 2015 at 9:32 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Osprey ring

A check of suggests blue rings on Osprey are part of the Scottish ringing efforts. Each ring is engraved with 2 or 3 letters or digits (in white), if anyone can get this from a photo then the individual will be confirmed.

If so, email address on this page

Posted September 22nd, 2015 at 1:45 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Blackstone Rock - Taw Estuary

The Osprey was successful this morning catching a Grey Mullet. Noticed a Bue ring on the left leg.

Posted September 22nd, 2015 at 1:29 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

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