General Birding

2019 Descriptions still outstanding

Many thanks to all observers that submitted their records for 2019. However there are still a number of records that require descriptions before they can appear in the Bird Report.

If you were fortunate enough to find (or see) any of these birds below please could you submit a description to the County Recorder Many thanks, stay safe.

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 - Daily exercise and Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on non-essential travel and social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Bowling Green Marsh, Dawlish Warren and Seaton Wetlands are closed until further notice. Whilst some people may be fortunate enough to be within walking/cycling distance of these sites, others should not be making special journeys to visit these areas at this time. 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

Sightings page guidelines & rare breeding bird posting restrictions

We welcome contributions from Devon Birds members and the general public. Please follow the guidelines on this page if you have something to post on the blog, remembering to use the relevant subject.

Please post responsibly, never post details of rare breeding, or winter roosts of vulnerable, species. If you are unsure of what to - or not - to post, there are guidelines on the restrictions  here.

Please note:-

1. That Wood Warbler in probable breeding areas should also not now be published

2.  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all. Editors do this job on a voluntary basis and cannot commit to editing out rare breeding bird information in posts which which include wider sightings. Please help us to avoid the need to delete or not admit posts. Thanks.

For help with ID email photos to

Posted January 8th at 9:12 pm by Pete Aley 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 21st January 2016


the photographed bird is another  black-headed gull but with a beak abnormality where it has failed to stop growing at the right length. The BTO has a beak abnormalities survey that may be of interest and they would be chuffed I'm sure to receive your photos.

Posted January 21st, 2016 at 11:20 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding


 This afternoon & yesterday, midway along the beach at least 6 Great Northern Divers continuously feeding & very difficult to spot. A Skua patrolled along the surf line. A Bull Grey Seal was eating a Mullet. Recently among the 400+ Black Headed Gulls on the sands, 3 LBB Gulls, a Yellow Legged Herring Gull & 1 or 2 Gulls ? Poss Ring-billed Gulls.

Posted January 21st, 2016 at 10:40 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding


On a visit to Paigntion zoo today was very surprised and please to see a Kingfisher "fishing" in the circular lake by the Ape House, took one small fish, flew down the lake landing in another bush over hanging the water before flying past where I was watching from.

Other species included 2 Wrens, Buzzards, flock of Long Tailed Tits, Song Thrush, Dunnocks and more Robins than you can shake a stick at !!

Posted January 21st, 2016 at 5:37 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Gull ID please

Late visit to Goosemoor Redshank,Greenshankand in with some Blak Headed Gulls a similar gull but with a seemingly heavier bill. Any ideas.

Posted January 21st, 2016 at 5:36 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Highlights of a visit this lunchtime were a drake Goldeneye from the platform and a Spotted Redshank at Goosemoor.

Posted January 21st, 2016 at 3:49 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding


A couple of photos showing the Firecrest taking nectar from the white camellia flowers in the garden.

Firecrest Berrynarbor 20 Jan 2016 Margaret Phillips

Firecrest 20.1.16 Berrynarbor Margaret Phillips


Posted January 21st, 2016 at 1:49 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding


3 Spoonbills on the flood by the Tarka Trail again this morning, still there when I left the reserve at midday!

Posted January 21st, 2016 at 1:25 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Black Redstart

Surprise visitor on my garage roof in Withycombe Road, center of Exmouth, this morning.

Black Redstart
Black Redstart

Posted January 21st, 2016 at 11:22 am by Margaret Mackintosh in General Birding


Adult Mediterranean Gull loafing with Herring Gulls on beach at Horseley Cove yesterday (white wings, red legs, red bill). It flew off to the east. One poor photo attached

Posted January 21st, 2016 at 11:21 am by Roger Smith in General Birding

Wednesday 20th January 2016

North Devon coast - Egyptian Geese

In the course of doing a section of the BTO Non-Estuarine Waterbird Survey between Wringapeak and Heddon's Mouth this morning, as well as 131 Fulmars (most on the water), 192 auks (all on the water) and, pleasingly, two Oystercatchers on a stretch that I thought would be waderless, the most startling sight was three Egyptian Geese about a kilometre offshore flying east up the Bristol Channel. Non-native and feral they may be, but for a North Devon birder unused to seeing a species which in Devon is largely confined to sheltered south coast estuaries, this was nonetheless an exciting moment.

Posted January 20th, 2016 at 8:46 pm by Tim & Tim Davis & Jones in General Birding

Cross Furzes, Buckfastleigh

Late post for Tuesday 19th: 1 Woodcock, Cross Furzes, east of Buckfastleigh, late afternoon.

Posted January 20th, 2016 at 8:04 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

A very cold morning at the Lower, the ducks were well spread out around the lake, 24 Goosander, 4 Cormorant, 2 G.C.Grebe, 60+ Redwing, 24 Tufted Duck, 1 Song Thrush and 1 Mistle Thrush, c40 Mallard, 2 Grey Heron. On the feeders, 1m Reed Bunting, Willow/Marsh/Blue/Coal/Great Tit, 2 Nuthatch, 2 Robins, 1 Greenfinch ,8 Chaffinch.

Posted January 20th, 2016 at 7:19 pm by ROD MUDGE in General Birding

Blanksmill Bridge

Just to add to Dave's report , at high tide on the otherside of the Estuary - 32 Pintail ( 15 m ) , 8 Grey Plover, 1000+ Dunlin, 1 G C Grebe ( with full tufts ) lots of Wigeon, Curlew , Shelduck

Posted January 20th, 2016 at 6:54 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

Plymouth Sound

Message from Vic Tucker of a Sandwich Tern in the Sound today

Posted January 20th, 2016 at 6:52 pm by Mike Passman in General Birding

West Charleton Marsh - Bittern

West Charleton Marsh 1200 -1630. Plenty to see! On the estuary ! GN Diver, 50+ wigeon, shelduck, curlew, oystercatchers,redshanks, 4 GC Grebe, 1 Little Grebe.

On the Marsh scrape 50+ Teal ,4 shelduck, 1 greenshank& 2 little egret

On the feeders, GS Woodpecker visiting regularly, chaffinch and lots of tits, great, blue, coal. Dunnock, robins, blackbirds, a moorhen and a pheasant clearing up underneath.

Also viewed from the hide Jay, 2 buzzard, 1 male bullfinch, chiffchaff  and at 1530hrs, just as I was packing up to go home an all too brief look at a bittern that came out of the reedbed behind the feeders, but quickly went back before I could get the camera on it. My first sighting of this species at that location and in Devon! Did not reappear in the next hour!

Posted January 20th, 2016 at 5:50 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Isley Marsh,20th January

Six spoonbills at high tide. Also along the Tarka Trail between the two jetties by the sewage outlet a black redstart 

Posted January 20th, 2016 at 4:52 pm by Brian Sims in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Lovely weather, good light and plenty of birds

Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit


Posted January 20th, 2016 at 4:14 pm by Colin Scott in General Birding

River Plym, Plymouth

and Goosander.

Posted January 20th, 2016 at 3:50 pm by Tor Elm in General Birding

River Plym, Plymouth

On a rising tide in sunny but cold conditions. B/H Gull, Herring Gull, LBB Gull, GBB Gull, Common Gull, Cormorant, Shag, Mallard, Wigeon, Shelduck, Kingfisher, Curlew, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Greenshank, Dunlin, Grey Heron, Little Egret, GC Grebe, Little Grebe, Black Necked Grebe.

Posted January 20th, 2016 at 3:48 pm by Tor Elm in General Birding

Tuesday 19th January 2016

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the afternoon high-tide. c1000-Black-tailed Godwits, c140-Bar-tailed Godwits, c80-Redshank, 7-Grey Plover, c50-Dunlin, 9-Snipe, c20-Lapwing, c500-Wigeon, 6-Gadwall, 2-Pochard, 2-Tufted Ducks, 4-Pintail, 6-Greylag Geese, c60-Shoveler, c80-Teal.

From the viewing platform a Spotted Redshank in field along footpath, drake Goldeneye near riversmeet house seawall, c500-Avocet, 52-Grey Plover, 26-Golden Plover, c500-Dunlin, Knot, 9-Red Breasted Merganser, Kingfisher, Buzzard

Link to video of Goldeneye & Spotted Redshank.


Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank

Grey Plover
Grey Plover

Posted January 19th, 2016 at 11:54 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Pirates at Bowling Green

We've all seen Gulls, Skuas, Crows and others harrying other birds to drop food in order to get an easy meal.  Today on the marsh I witnessed this same behavior between two species I wouldn't have expected.  A Black-tailed Godwit pulled a big worm out of the mud and set off towards the water when a much smaller Redshank began to relentlessly chase it around, the pair even taking to flight a few times. This lasted a good minute or more but I never saw the final outcome. Is piracy of this kind common practice among waders?

Posted January 19th, 2016 at 9:32 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Capstone Ilfracombe

1500hrs 2 Male blackredstart seen on the west side of capstone on the angled flat slabs which catch the winter sun in the afternoon. 1 purple sandpiper on windy corner.

Posted January 19th, 2016 at 8:44 pm by John Hunt in General Birding


2.30 - 4.00 At least 8 great northern divers 3 very close to shore. Also 1 razorbill and several great crested grebes. No smaller grebes.

In car park at least 8 cirl buntings including 6 males feeding on seed

Posted January 19th, 2016 at 6:29 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding

Tarka Trail - Chivenor

The stunning Robin In good light for a change and singing well! 

Posted January 19th, 2016 at 6:20 pm by Martin Bond in General Birding


Having seen blue tits, blackcaps taking the nectar ? from the white camellia flowers before, it was interesting to see goldcrest and the firecrest doing the same today.

Posted January 19th, 2016 at 4:29 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

South Brent and Torquay Blackcaps

A bright but cold day gave 31 species in and over the garden at South Brent today.

Nice to have four Siskin on the feeders, periodic vists from the Long Tailed Tits, two Song Thrush feeding together, Mistle Thrush, fly past from four Fieldfare and a count of twenty five Redwings that were feeding in the field hedges, the winter Thrushes have not been that evident over the last week or so.

Large numbers of Goldfinch feeding in the mature Alders in the field hedges, Jay and Greater Spotted Woodpeckers also showing.

Overhead Raven, Stock Dove, Buzzard and Sparrow Hawk.

A new birding friend contacted me to say he had an unusual bird in his garden at Cary Park Road, Torquay as he went through his bird book three others came in and turned out to Blackcaps, 1 cock bird and three hens.

Posted January 19th, 2016 at 3:34 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Aveton Gifford

Unsuccessful search for Jack Snipe on the marshes but then got great views of what can only be a Willow Warbler in the scrub by the gate on the marshside road to Knap Mill. Immediately thought just Chiffchaff but very clear fleshy pink legs, but no call. Weird or what? Mind you Spotted Flycatcher wintering in Cambs!! Comments welcome!!

MR: SX702474

Posted January 19th, 2016 at 3:13 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Central Park Plymouth

Had a walk around the park Great Spotted Woodpecker,Nuthatch,Wren,Blackbird,Song Thrush,Redwing,Mistle Thrush,Grey Wagtails,Blue Tit,Coal Tit,Long-tailed Tit,Great Tit,Robin.Dunnock,Robin,Sparrowhawk,Crow,Magpies,Black-headed Gulls,Herring Gulls.

Posted January 19th, 2016 at 2:03 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding


On the pond in the reserve this morning were a pair of Tufted Duck and a Little Grebe - signs of Spring in the air?

Posted January 19th, 2016 at 1:53 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Purple sandpipers at Exmouth

4 Purple sandpipers at Maers Rock, Peregrine on Bull Hill.

Posted January 19th, 2016 at 9:44 am by Ben Lansbury in General Birding

Monday 18th January 2016


To-day is the last day to purchase at the Pre-publication offer don't miss out order now

Posted January 18th, 2016 at 9:26 pm in General Birding


Pottering about in the reserve this afternoon: Goldcrest, 60+ Goldfinch, singing Song Thrush, a few Redwings, heard and then saw a Cetti's Warbler, and as I was leaving (about 3.30p.m) a Barn Owl flew round then landed on one of the perimeter fence posts near the gate!

Posted January 18th, 2016 at 4:43 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Stover Lake

On the lake early this morning 7 Goosanders were displaying in the pouring rain,the usual Tufted Duck did not seem impressed.

Posted January 18th, 2016 at 9:44 am by Keith Benyon-Tinker in General Birding

Sunday 17th January 2016

Black Redstarts in Teignmouth

I was surprised to find a group of 4 Black Redstarts (3 females and a male) flitting around gardens and rooftops in Fourth Avenue, Teignmouth, today.

Posted January 17th, 2016 at 9:52 pm by Stephen Edwards in General Birding

Slapton bridge

Just aftwer lunch time I spotted a marsh harrier heading to the easterly end of the marshes . He came from just to the right of the bridge and momentarily stopped in a large bush. He then headed off behind the foliage. About ten minutes later at the same spot i spotted a Firecrest just to the left of the bridge looking east, he didnt stop long and was quickly gone. Then an eagle eyed birder spotted very close in the bottom of the reed bed a water rail rumaging. it showed well for about 5 minutes before dissapearing back into the reeds.

Posted January 17th, 2016 at 7:18 pm by John Wilkes in General Birding

Slapton Ley

 3 Black-necked Grebes together at Torcross this morning just out from the tank. Reasonable numbers of Tufted Duck ( 100+ ) and Gadwall ( 50+ ) in Ireland Bay also 2 Pintail, 3 Wigeon and 4 Pochard. An Otter below Slapton Bridge.

Posted January 17th, 2016 at 5:27 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Torbay boat trip

This mornings boat trip on the Dart Princess out of Paignton Harbour was in beautiful conditions, the sea was like glass. Birds seen 17 Great Northern Diver, 18 Great Crested Grebe, 5 Common Scoter, 8 Purple Sandpiper, 11 Grey Heron, 2 Raven , Fulmar and best of all was 900+ Guillemots on the colony cliffs at Berry Head and many more on the sea. We had also 4 Grey Seals on the Brixham Marina wave screen.

If interested in coming on trips email    

Posted January 17th, 2016 at 3:30 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Slavonian Grebe offshore with a score of Great Crested Grebes. Male Velvet Scoter with Common Scoter. Red-throated Diver off the sea wall. At least 2 Great Northern Divers but more stuff too far out to identify. 4 Razorbill on sea.

Absurdly close male Scaup at Decoy Country Park on way home!

Posted January 17th, 2016 at 3:05 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Saltram - The Ride and surrounding area. Sunday, 17 Jan

Sad to report the discovery of a dead Great Northern Diver on the stand line at around 09.30 this morning. No apparent injuries.

Otherwise a rewardiing morning with 31 species seen, many of the usual seen in this area but pleasing to see Mistle Thrush, Stonechat (M) and Meadow Pipit in the area below the old landfill site. Also pleasing to see there three Skylark showing well and, quite oblivious to me, at close quarters, performing what I assume is a courtship flight. Also pleasing to see Redwing and Stock Dove in and around the fields. In same field I saw five Grey Heron in one tree (awaiting the tide to go out!) 

John Lloyd

Posted January 17th, 2016 at 1:13 pm by John Lloyd in General Birding


1 Firecrest in Marsh between car parks, still 2-3 Siskin feeding in the alders, 9 Cirl Buntings and 4 Reed Bunting in 2nd carpark.

On the sea: 12 Great Northern Divers, 13 Great Crested Grebes, 7 Common Scoter and a pair of Pintail (rare in Torbay).

Posted January 17th, 2016 at 11:00 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Saturday 16th January 2016

Near Great Torrington

Redpoll (flammea race) enjoying nyger in my garden.  Stayed for half an hour feeding most of the time.

Redpoll (flammea)
Redpoll (flammea)

Enjoying nyger seed
Enjoying nyger seed

Posted January 16th, 2016 at 10:26 pm by Tony Brooking in General Birding

Isley Marsh

At high tide this morning, 3 Spoonbill, 34 Teal, 2 Cormorant, 1 Wren, 1 Robin, 25 Curlew, 4 Wigeon, 1 Redshank, 18 Oystercatcher, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Kingfisher, 2m Stonechat, 2 Long-tailed Tit, 2 L/Egret, 3 Shelduck.

Posted January 16th, 2016 at 8:06 pm by ROD MUDGE in General Birding

Home Farm Marsh Gaia Trust

A dry windless walk along the trust today saw, 3 L/Egret, 1m Reed Bunting, 2 Stonechat 1m 1f, 12 Linnet, 1 Snipe, c120 Lapwing, 1 Kestrel, 2 Robin, 18 Canada, 10 Shoveler 6m 4f, c80 Teal, c60 Wigeon, 2 Raven, 11 Fieldfare, 5 Turnstone, 1 Wren.

Posted January 16th, 2016 at 7:58 pm by ROD MUDGE in General Birding


A ringtail Hen Harrier flew NE over fields just to the NW of Ladram Bay Holiday Park at about 12.30. At least 5 Red- throated divers in Chiselbury Bay.

Posted January 16th, 2016 at 7:44 pm by Dan Hennessy in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Highlights today were the Black-necked Grebe showing well (especially on the low tide) by Laira Bridge, a Cormorant showing characteristics of sinensis, a Great Northern Diver, a Firecrest, and an excellent count of 10 Little Grebes. Also - 39 Curlews, Great Crested Grebe, a pair of Wigeon, 27 Shelducks, 3 Oystercatchers, 2 Snipe, Dunlin, 15 Turnstones, 3 Greenshanks, 109 Redshanks, Common Sandpiper, 10 Little Egrets, just 1 Grey Heron, Siskin, 3 Goldcrests, 2 Treecreepers, 3 Nuthatches and a Mistle Thrush.

A great spread of birds on the patch!

Posted January 16th, 2016 at 7:35 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


No sign of the Little bunting this afternoon at Darts Farm. A male and female Brambling and one Reed bunting in among 100s of Chaffinches. Also 2 Egyptian geese. Over at Bowling Green Marsh, the Black brant was in the field next to the viewing platform at 16:15.

Posted January 16th, 2016 at 6:43 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding


Such a luxury having a calm, gentle, dry day for once on the North coast of Devon.  .

We searched thoroughly for Purple Sandpipers this morning but could only find one. Where are the others, perhaps they have flown to Westward Ho!

Posted January 16th, 2016 at 6:26 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Siskins - Tarka Trail near Braunton Inn - 15th Jan

Took a stroll along the Tarka Trail yesterday & came across small flock of about 20 Siskins in the bushes near the Tarka Inn

Posted January 16th, 2016 at 5:09 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding


Large flocks of Feildfare and Redwings on farm fields.

Posted January 16th, 2016 at 4:55 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

Teign - Water Pipit

Further to Will's post: photo of Water Pipit at Flow Point this morning. Also one Grey Wagtail.

Water Pipit
Water Pipit

Posted January 16th, 2016 at 3:46 pm by david cawthraw in General Birding


3Spoonbill over Powderham deer park towards marshes at3o"clock 

Posted January 16th, 2016 at 3:36 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Teign Estuary

A Water Pipit was at Flow Point this morning alongside a couple of Rock Pipits. Counts from around the estuary included 12 Little Grebes, 18 Red-breasted Mergansers, 48 Shelducks, 16 Little Egrets, two Kingfishers, 91 Curlew, 14 Lapwings, six Ringed Plovers, eight Turnstones, five Common Sandpipers, 64 Redshanks and a Greenshank.

Posted January 16th, 2016 at 3:33 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding


A not-very-productive ringing session this morning was considerably improved when we caught the first Firecrest ringed in the reserve. Goldcrest and Chiffchaff also present.

Posted January 16th, 2016 at 2:36 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Friday 15th January 2016

broadsands carpark 14.1.16

I took this photo today which I guess is the Siberian chiff chaff? Two questions please of someone can answer.

Why Siberian chiff chaff? It's not in my Hamlyn guide.

Why chiff chaff? It doesn't call like a chiff chaff.

Thanks. PLF.

EDs: It it is a common Chiffchaff (collybita ) they don't sing in the winter very much - just call howeet the olive tones and ochre under tail coverts rule out Siberian Chiffchaff .


Posted January 15th, 2016 at 6:31 pm by philip fairclough in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

Spectacular light on the surface of the pond this aft.

Posted January 15th, 2016 at 5:02 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

River Plym / Blaxton meadow

High tide roost:

15 Grey heron, 8 Little egret, 130 Redshank, 4 Greenshank, 3 Little grebe, 61 Curlew, 28 Shelduck, 2 Wigeon, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Great northern diver heading up river, and 3 Red breasted merganser flew over. 

Posted January 15th, 2016 at 2:43 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

River Plym - Plymouth

The following were seen this morning during a short walk from the A38 viaduct to the Sewage discharge area: 1 GN Diver that, on the high tide, came up as far as the railway bridge; 1 BN Grebe; 6 Little Grebe; 3 Common Sandpiper; 1 Kingfisher.  On the scrape there were 55 Curlew and 26 Shelduck.

Posted January 15th, 2016 at 2:26 pm by Lesley Carr in General Birding


Purple Sandpiper with Turnstones at Tinside/Old diving platform 

Posted January 15th, 2016 at 1:57 pm by Tor Elm in General Birding

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