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

Saturday 22nd October 2016

GREAT GREY SHRIKE Bennets Cross area - Friday

Great Grey Shrike at top end of valley near Bennets Cross on ridge, right hand side going down valley.
Three Ring Ouzel, large numbers of Redwing and ten to twenty Fieldfare. Six Bullfinches, two males and Reed Bunting.
All the action was at the top end of Valley.

Ring Ouzel

Posted October 22nd, 2016 at 12:04 am by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Friday 21st October 2016

Prawle Point, Beesands and Start Point -21 October 2016.

A first visit to Prawle Point gave me 2 singinging male Cirl Buntings (1 behind car park and 1 at far end of housing and Meadow Pipits lifting wherever I walked. Overhead were Sparrowhawk, Kestrel,  Buzzard and adult Peregrine.

Start Point gave Stonechat, Meadow Pipits, pied Wagtails, Kestrel and 4 Seals hauled out on the rocks.

Also a first visit to Beysands Ley - 1 male Cirl Bunting on the path to hide, 83 Gadwall, 37 Canada Geese, 15 Mute Swans, 1 male Tufted Duck and 1 Grey Heron.

Singing male Cirl Bunting at Prawle

Male Cirl Bunting at Prawle
Male Cirl Bunting at Prawle

Female Kestrel at Prawle
Female Kestrel at Prawle

Posted October 21st, 2016 at 10:26 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding

Fieldfare 21-10-16

Challacombe Valley many Fieldfare were seen along with Redwings about 14.30

Posted October 21st, 2016 at 8:55 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

21-10-16 Golden Plovers

At Haytor was treated to the sight of 200+ Golden Plovers. 21-10-16 Approx 11am


Posted October 21st, 2016 at 6:44 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Soussons Wood

On a very sunny and mild morning walk around Soussons farm we spotted 2 crossbills and heard more calling, a large flock, maybe 20 or so of redwing and fieldfare. Also were two great spotted woodpeckers. On the way back to Postbridge we stopped by the road to watch another large flock of redwing and fieldfare feeding on an area of hawthorn berries. Something spooked them and they took to the air showing us there were about 60 birds in the flock. We had an upclose view of one fieldfare when a male blackbird gave chase to it. Also in and around the flock was a song thrush and a male bullfinch. No sign of the great grey shrike though. A very enjoyable day.

Posted October 21st, 2016 at 5:54 pm by Steph Murphy in General Birding

Caen River and Horsey Island

A walk along to the fishermans' huts gave Kingfisher, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Blackwits, Redshank, Greenshank, Cormorant, Heron, Egret, Green, Golden, Ringed and Grey Plover, Snipe overhead, Glossy Ibis overhead, 4 Spoonbills across the estuary near Isley Marsh, Buzzard, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Wigeon, Teal, Mippets, Wags, lots of gulls hunting ants overhead and the Wryneck still present and showing well. Lots of other regulars too. The river bank path has just been shut however as the hole near the first stile sluice gate is now big enough to fit a small house into. The Environment Agency chap said it will break a huge hole in the bank in the next few days allowing the whole area to flood and revert back to natural habitat.


Posted October 21st, 2016 at 5:23 pm by Rob Barnes in General Birding

East Soar & Starehole Valley

Highlights were: Merlin over farm, Yellow-browed Warbler in plantation, Ring Ouzel in Starehole & 3 Firecrest. Also: 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 60 Skylark, Grey Wagtail, 18 Blackbird, 12 Song Thrush, 6 Goldcrest, 11 Blue Tit & 12 Cirl Bunting. 300 Woodpigeon marked the start of autumn passage but they circled Bolt Head before heading back inland with,bizarrely, a Green Sandpiper in a breakaway flock of 100!

Posted October 21st, 2016 at 2:22 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Thursday 20th October 2016

Budleigh Salterton

A good day on the local patch with a Serin seen at around 09.40hrs as it headed east along the cliff top path east of the Otter Estuary, calling regularly and then veered back out to sea and was frustratingly lost in the sun! Despite a good search after the initial sighting and again this afternoon, no further sign.
Other highlights today included: 1 Brambling, 6+ Reed Bunting, 80+ Linnet, 50+ Skylark and a Merlin.

Posted October 20th, 2016 at 8:08 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Higher Brownstone farm cottages, Kingswear

Another Yellow-browed Warbler showed well along the road just before the NT Higher Brownstone Cottages.

Yellow-browed Warbler Higher Brownstone Kingswear 201 Oct 2016 ML

Posted October 20th, 2016 at 6:31 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding


A first visit to Soussons plantation yielded 2 Green Woodpeckers, a small flock (20+) of Fieldfare and at least 1 Redwing, a solitary female Bullfinch and, a first for me, 8 Crossbills feeding at the top of trees on the western perimeter of the woods near a clearing. Both males and females present (see attached record shots)

Common Crossbill

Common Crossbill

Common Crossbill
Common Crossbill

Posted October 20th, 2016 at 5:16 pm by Andy Brown in General Birding

Wednesday 19th October 2016

Red-breasted Merganser

Seen and photographed at Braunton Marsh today 19/10/16 not by me, posted on Facebook

Posted October 19th, 2016 at 11:07 pm by Robert Cudmore in General Birding

White Fronted Goose

Had a look for the Turtle Dove at Bridge Marsh at Collyford today,but there was no sign,but in amongst the Canada Geese were a Eurasian White Fronted Goose and a Barnacle Goose,viewed from the gate birds were in the 2nd field across

Posted October 19th, 2016 at 9:20 pm by Andy Bond in General Birding

Dawlish Warren: 19 October 2016

Morning high tide at Dawlish Warren. On the walk to the hide a solitary Eider  offshore, 11 Turnstone on one of the breakwaters and a group of 8 Sanderling on the beach. The island was occupied by a single Little Egret and a number of Herring Gull and Crows, with a group of Wigeon and 13 Brent Geese in the shallows. A flock of Linnet and 3 Rock Pipits were feeding on the beach by the broken boat. Large numbers of Oystercatcher and Curlew on the opposite side of the bay. As I left there were no small waders in the bight in spite of the fact that the tide had receded substantially. 

Brent Goose

Rock Pipit
                              Brent Goose                                                                            Rock Pipit


Posted October 19th, 2016 at 8:49 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding

Fremington Pill

A walk along Fremington Pill down to Fremington Quay produced the Glossy Ibis, 60+ Redshank, 4 Greenshank, 1 Ruff feeding with the Redshank and 50+ Black Tailed Godwit flying out of the Pill at the end of the afternoon. They disappeared down the Taw before I could get a more accurate count!

Posted October 19th, 2016 at 7:35 pm by Martin Unwin in General Birding

Ivybridge: 2 Moors Way Gate to Piles Copse

Walk following the field/moor boundary past Harford Moor Gate was rewarded with 3 Ring Ouzels just south of the Copse. Also there; Fieldfare, Redwing, Goldfinch, 1 Buzzard, 1 Yellowhammer, 2 Raven.

On the outward walk (not complete list), 2 Green Woodpecker, 4 Mistlethrush, 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, Raven, Pied Wagtail, Mipits and small groups of Redwing.

Posted October 19th, 2016 at 2:23 pm by R Teague in General Birding


Large flock of approximately 250 Golden Plover just north of Haytor early this morning,very restless and flying in groups and not appearing to settle.

Posted October 19th, 2016 at 11:16 am by Keith Benyon-Tinker in General Birding

Tuesday 18th October 2016

North Devon

A run up to North Devon with Keith Male today, Fremington quay was well blessed with waders inc Greenshank, Redshank, Black Tailed Godwits and Common Sandpiper.

The old Fremington Camp turned up a large flock of 500 plus Starlings feeding on blackberries and a flock of 50 plus Goldfinch.

Instow held the largest concentration of Oyster Catcher that I have ever seen, simply hundreds of them, also a small number of Mediterranean and Common Gull, Curlew, Turnstone and Rock Pipit.


Out to Crow Point gave some close up views of two Little  Grebe, Heron and Curlew

On the way home on the M5 North of Junction 30 Keith  had a Red Kite !!!!

Posted October 18th, 2016 at 8:34 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Shipley Bridge to Avon Dam

Further to Josh's post, Ian P and myself saw 7+ Ring Ouzels  ( 3 males) - 2 near the same location as Josh, at least 4 close to the dam in the small valley to the west of the dam and 1 by the water treatment works. 150+ Redwing over but just 1 Fieldfare seen. 6 Goosander (1m, 5 redheads) on the Dam. Small numbers of Goldcrests. 

Posted October 18th, 2016 at 3:36 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Prawle Point

At 1.30 this afternoon large group of 30 swallows moving along coast at Prawle

Posted October 18th, 2016 at 2:40 pm by Graham Devine in General Birding

Avon Dam

4 Ring Ouzel present just after 1st bridge walking towards the dam on right hand side feeding in rowans with 5 Mistle Thrush. 40+Redwing overhead

Posted October 18th, 2016 at 2:14 pm by Josh Marshall in General Birding

Pallid Harrier

Re: poss Pallid Harrier at Start Pt.  Pallid Harrier seen at Greylake RSPB reserve [Somerset] on 17th Oct. Picture on Avon Birds website.

Posted October 18th, 2016 at 10:24 am by Mark Parsons in General Birding

Monday 17th October 2016

Shipley bridge to Avon Dam

Great walk today from Shipley Bridge to Avon Dam, By the car park 4 Goldcrests together in the trees by the river, further up, there was a Dipper feeding . There was a female Hen Harrier gliding further up, and by the bridge there were 5+ Ringed Ouzels and Redwing..Another single Ringed Ouzel closer to the dam.

Posted October 17th, 2016 at 7:31 pm by Kay Deare in General Birding

Sunday 16th October 2016

Devon Weekend

A superb afternoon at Crow Point & Wrafton area before heading home to Rugby, highlights, 1 Wryneck, 2 Dipper, 1 Marsh Harrier,  3 Spoonbill, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Black Tailed Godwit, 100 + Redwing, Well cropped photo's of the Wryneck

Posted October 16th, 2016 at 10:59 pm by Steve McAusland in General Birding

Brixham Breakwater

Single Purple Sandpiper on the oil platform and 3 common scoters flew out of  Torbay. 2 Eider were a surprise between Shoalstone And the Breakwater

Posted October 16th, 2016 at 9:36 pm by David Leigh in General Birding

Avon Dam Valley Peregrine attacking a crow (long distance shot)

Over the hills at Avon Dam Valley today a Peregrine was attacking a crow, this shot was taken on chance and is long distance hence the quality

Posted October 16th, 2016 at 8:59 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

East Soar

3 Ring Ouzels and Garden Warbler seen in Starehole Valley. 

Posted October 16th, 2016 at 8:45 pm by George and Les Carr in General Birding

Ring Ouzel

At least 5 birds seen on Rowen Trees to the left of the Avon Dam, all very mobile, but 5 birds on one tree at one time.

Posted October 16th, 2016 at 8:38 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Horsey Mere Sunday 16th October

Great afternoon at Horsey Mere. At one point I had Red Shank, Green Shank,4 Spoonbills,little Egret and a Spotted Redshank in my scope at the same time! Also, Black tail Godwit, Grey Plover, Glossy Ibis, Kingfisher, Knot, Dunlin Mute Swans, various Gulls. This is fast becoming my favourite birding spot.

Posted October 16th, 2016 at 8:25 pm by Andy Leat in General Birding

Sunday Peregrine drama

Arrived at Horsey Island / River Caen at about 12 midday and bumped into Sue Bruce who had just left the Wryneck. So I found the Wryneck quickly at about 10 metres, with a few other birders and then we lost it in the undergrowth. Suddenly looking up from the Wryneck hunt to a sound of rushing flight, Teal/Wigeon panicking past us and a female Peregrine fast and low across the ground and then up and hitting one of the Teal/Wigeon all within about 20 metres. (impressive but a bit of a worry when directly over the Wryneck!). It then made off with the Duck and landed on a ruined Barn where a Buzzard, already on the barn, quickly flushed it, making it drop its duck. It flew up and joined another (male) Peregrine, they made a lot of noise and I think picked the duck up. Those who know these birds will appreciate how fast this all happened. 10mins later we were back on the Wryneck at about 20 metres. Action packed hour of 'dog walking'. Also be careful near the sluice gate as a large hole has opened up.

Posted October 16th, 2016 at 8:16 pm by Rob Barnes in General Birding


I am grateful to those who pointed me in the direction of the Wryneck this morning on Braunton Burrows. The bird showed well and was flustered by the sudden appearance of a Peregrine chasing and catching one of a small flock of Teal. Several pairs of eyes soon found the bird again and it returned to the same spot where it had been before. 

Wryneck 2

Wryneck 3

Posted October 16th, 2016 at 7:20 pm by John Wilkes in General Birding


At least 2 Firecrests and 3 Goldcrests at The Ness this afternoon.

Posted October 16th, 2016 at 6:56 pm by Laurie Allnatt in General Birding

Late news

Bursdon Moor, North Devon.

Short Eared Owl seen at the beginning of this week, but record suppressed by finders until today.

Harvey Kendall.

Posted October 16th, 2016 at 6:23 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Little stint at Axe Estuary

Lovely little stint showing well from Island Hide.

also curlew sandpiper alongside curlews from Tower Hide.

many thanks to the man with the scope for confirming the stint.

Posted October 16th, 2016 at 6:12 pm by Dave W in General Birding


Steve's post caused a bit of a local twitch  this afternoon- there was still one of the Eider present in amongst the blue mussel farm buoys.

Posted October 16th, 2016 at 5:01 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 09:00 till 12:00

A good morning around the marsh from the hide to start with , 5+ curlew sandpipers among 650+ dunlin, 22+ knot , 11 avocet, 53+ lapwing , 1 juv ruff, among good numbers of black tailed godwits, redshank, and curlew, 32+ bar tailed godwits.

from the viewing the platform area  , the highlight was my first woodlark flying over calling in a small group of skylark , 1 spotted redshank, 52+ grey plover, 6+ goldcrests, 3 coal tit, 2 nuthatch, 5 jay, 1 sparrowhawk over , 7+ chiffchaff, 2 blackcaps, 3 Litlle egrets, good numbers of robin and dunnock a around the marsh.

Posted October 16th, 2016 at 4:53 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Eider duck to Ring Ouzel

Brixham break water ~ 4 Rock Pipits, 72+ Gannets

From the Shoalstone  ~ 1 Skua sp, 1 Oyster Catcher

Brixham harbour ~ 8+ Turnstone

Broadsands ~ 7 Eider duck

Eider duck Broadsands 16/10/2016

Eider Duck Broadsands 16th Oct 2016

Shipley bridge to Avon dam 9 Kestrel sightings (believed to relate to three birds seen together at one point) 1 Ring Ouzel, 1 Grey Wagtail.

Posted October 16th, 2016 at 3:20 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

15 Oct Emsworthy - Dartmoor

On the north slopes of Emsworthy Mire yesterday I flushed two Woodcock  There was a large flock (~50) redwings passing through and a Sparrowhawk nearly caught a Redwing!

Also in the area was a very pale Buzzard.

Robin Morrison

Posted October 16th, 2016 at 2:08 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Saturday 15th October 2016

House Martin Chicks

Amazingly, for so late in the year, we have a pair of house martins with 2-3 week old chicks nesting on my Grandmother's house in South Zeal.

Have been very concerned about their welfare over the past few weeks but there seems to still be good numbers of insects around so fingers crossed they will fledge in the next week or so and then get on their way.

Posted October 15th, 2016 at 6:53 pm by Tom Michie in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 07:00 till  11:30

The marsh was covered in mist this morning so started by doing the hedges a few goldcrests , coal tits and chiffchaff , 20+ redwing in trees behind the hide , just after 08:05 was walking down from the hide towards the riversmeet house, a small group of dunnock were feeding on left side of the road a smaller bird feeding with them so got my bins on it a bunting and a possible Little bunting started to try and get all I'd features I could as a dog walker approached , looked like a female/ first winter bird , clear sign of a white/ whitish wing bar , red brown cheeks and median crown stripe the streaking on the flanks was very fine and stood out despite the poor light legs did appear pale but not seen well , everything looked good then the dog spooked the birds and they disappeared through the hedge no call heard would of liked longer views of the bird was 90-95% certain little bunting and was unable to relocate the bird. 

The rest of the morning produced plenty of Robins and 15+ chiffchaffs , 30+ long tailed tits, 4 blackcaps( 3 males, 1 female) 

from the viewing platform 882+ dunlin  included 4 juv curlew sandpipers, 10+ knot, 60+ grey plover, 35+ bar tailed godwits, 11 avocets, good numbers of curlew and black tailed godwits, 1 whimbrel, 4 ringed plover.

Posted October 15th, 2016 at 3:36 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Start Point

Overnight showers, bright morning, Fresh SW wind.

Vis mig from the car park, 07:10-08:30, all birds flying south.

7 Swallows, 13 'alba' Wagtails, 70 Meadow Pipits, 280 Linnets, 5 Siskins 70 Chaffinches and 450 Goldfinches.

Posted October 15th, 2016 at 9:48 am by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Berry Head Friday 14th

A walk with the Friends of Brixham Library saw a good(ish) overhead movement of birds:1 Redpoll, 100+ Goldfinch, 7 Siskin, 8+ Redwing, 28 Song Thrush, 11 Skylark and one Great Northern Diver - over the top of Berry Head.

Fairly quiet around the top of the headland just 7 Goldcrest and 3 Chiffchaff.

Posted October 15th, 2016 at 8:02 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

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