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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Monday 31st October 2016


Pale belly brent amongst 94 nominates+75 pintail my highest count here.Seem toget higher numbers than previous years,1000 golden plover,15 lapwing

Posted October 31st, 2016 at 7:34 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding


Did a vis mig watch from Sharp Tor 07:00-08:15 and headed on a mainly east bearing, as always into the wind were 2 alba Wagtails, 3 Skylarks, 23 Meadow Pipits, 35 Linnets, 102 Goldfinches, 183 Chaffinches, 1 Brambling and 14 Siskins. Also 1530 Woodpigeons with a few Stock Doves mixed in . One maverick Lesser Redpoll had to be different and fly west. Also 4 Goldcrests and 3 Coal Tits around the Tor ( the latter not seen well but likely to be fairly local instead of continental ). Had a look around East Soar and Starehole but quiet, 4 Snipe, Fieldfare, 2 Chiffchaffs, 4 Goldcrests and a Reed Bunting.

Posted October 31st, 2016 at 5:01 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

North Devon - Down End

Nine Common Eider. 4 adults 5 juvenille

Posted October 31st, 2016 at 4:57 pm by John Bronze in General Birding

Sunday 30th October 2016

Plymouth area

Staddon Heights & Bovisand this morning - 14 Lapwings over, Mistle Thrush, 5 Goldcrests and a Chiffchaff.

This evening on the Plym Est' at high tide: Redshank 127, Greenshank 4, Little Egret 8, Curlew 49 and Mandarin Duck 2.

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 6:17 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


The Shrike still at Soussons, viewable from the track. Can people please not chase the bird as was seen today.

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 5:40 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Huge Flock

Had the privilege of watching a huge mixed flock of Starling, Fieldfare and Redwing, must have been close to a 1000 birds clearing the berries of Rowen between West Shallowford and Yar Tor on Dartmoor. Sat in my car and watched and listen to the noise for half an hour, brilliant!

Starlings and Redwing Starling and Fieldfare
Starling and Fieldfare

Redwing and Fieldfare
Redwing and Fieldfare

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 5:37 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Anchorwood bank Barnstaple 11:30 - 12:30

Could not see the Catle Egret but plenty of stuff in the estuary inc:-

Blackwits x 30, Cormorant x 42, several Pintail and Teal and a large flock of Golden plover roosting on the sandbank off of Penhill marsh (at least 200 but could have been many more).

Pintail female
Pintail female

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 2:14 pm by Roy Churchill in General Birding

Berry Head and Brixham Breakwater.

A good early morning walk on Berry Head and Brixham Harbour. 800+ Guillemots on the colony cliffs, 2 Ravens, could not find ML Black Redstart , nice Pied Wagtail at end of headland.

Brixham Breakwater. 6 Purple Sandpiper, a Great Black-backed gull enjoying a feast on a large fish head on slipway.

Torbay boat trips start next Sunday morning if interested call 07866202576

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 2:11 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Spoonbill at the marsh this morning, busy feeding, very entertaining :)

Approx 65 avocets amongst the usuals present over high tide.


Posted October 30th, 2016 at 11:15 am by Helen Whitall in General Birding

plymouth parakeets

around 30 ringneck parakeets in central park at barn park entrance

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 9:40 am by barry in General Birding

Cattle Egret Barnstaple

Cattle egret along the Tarka trail in field in front of Anchor woods 09.20 this morning.

Posted October 30th, 2016 at 9:24 am by dave paterson in General Birding

Saturday 29th October 2016


Huge numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare with Mistle Thrush and Starling mixed in at times from Venford out onto the moors where the berry bush crop was evident. In the Hexworthy area there were in clouds of them  and well beyond any realistic counting, a Tree creeper showed briefly.

Just above Powder Mill a female Cross Bill sat in plain sight until driven off by one of two greater Spotted Woodpeckers.


Kestrels seen at Soussons and from the A38 near Caton cross.

No less than 229 Golden Plover near Easton Lane Cross as you approach Widdicombe, Woodcock flushed near the same location.

Posted October 29th, 2016 at 5:08 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


The Great Grey Shrike was showing well at 11am-11.30am on the upper half of the felled plantation, favouring the largest bare trunk right at the back of the cleared area before dropping down onto a pile of dead branches.      Also seen there by 3 other birders much earlier.

Posted October 29th, 2016 at 5:05 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding

Friday 28th October 2016

Venn Ottery

Had an hours walk around the reserve late afternoon and in the tussock field in the north west corner I was extremely surprised to flush a Quail at very close range (around 3ft away). Watched it fly off in an Aylesbeare village sort of direction.

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 7:42 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Fieldfares & Redwings - Fernworthy Reservoir - 28-10-16

Hundreds of Fieldfare & Redwings at Fernworthy Reservoir, a kingfisher also seen on the extremely low Reservoir

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 7:10 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

28-10-16 Great Grey Shrike & Buzzard

Around Soussons - Great Grey Shrike showing well by the clearing near Golden dagger mine, Crossbills at Soussons Plantation, near Soussons Farm, and a long distance shot of a Buzzard in the valley east of Vitifer Mine

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 6:56 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Budleigh and Exe Estuary

2 Firecrest along the coast path above the West Cliffs Budleigh Salterton this morning. The drake American Wigeon was present in the Eurasian Wigeon flock from around 10.15 - 11am before the flock was flushed and headed north up the estuary. More on this bird on

American Wigeon by Chris Townend

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 6:53 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding


Late afternoon 2 Eider, 3 Common Scoter, and 1 Red-throated Diver.

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 6:07 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Start Point etc

Got to Start before first light and heard a Golden Plover and 2 Snipe before dawn. Negligable vis mig on a beautiful calm, cloudy day with perfect light. Things fairly quiet though, only saw 3 Swallows, 3 Fieldfares, 7 Redwings, 2 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs ( 2 at the light the only migrants there ), 3 Goldcrests,, 4 Siskins and a Reed Bunting. Well offshore was a stretched out pod of around 20 Dolphin sp.

Went around to Beesands where the highlight was 10 late Swallows over the Ley. Did the Ireland Bay circuit at Slapton Ley, several hundred Coot present with good numbers of Gadwall and over 10 Wigeon. These birds distant feeding on surface weed in the far corner of Ireland Bay, I'll take a scope next time.

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 5:03 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding


First glance thought I'd got a snow bunting feeding with the house sparrows in the garden- but saw thro the disguise.

Nearly snow bunting
Nearly snow bunting

Pretend snow bunting
Pretend snow bunting

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 2:26 pm by Andrew Lansdell in General Birding


Another huge flock of 500 newly arrived Redwings and Fieldfares to the N E of Haytor early this morning.They have stripped virtually all the Rowan trees of berries.

Posted October 28th, 2016 at 10:48 am by Keith Benyon-Tinker in General Birding

Thursday 27th October 2016

Tottiford Reservoir

Great Egret and Goosander showing well this morning. 

Great Egret

Great Egret


Posted October 27th, 2016 at 3:30 pm by Colin Scott in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

2 Willow Tit.

Note: The Mute Swan on the lake has fishing tackle hanging from the mouth, I have contacted the RSPCA who will take the required action.

Posted October 27th, 2016 at 3:07 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Clennon Valley

The Cetti's Warbler was again on site this morning - after looking back through my records the last record of Cetti's Warbler anywhere in Torbay was 10 years ago!  A count of 9 Gadwall was also a very good for Clennon they are not always annual here. Just one Chiffchaff, 1 Firecrest  and 11 Goldcrest. 

Posted October 27th, 2016 at 11:08 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Wednesday 26th October 2016


2 Black Redstarts on roof tops in Chaddlewood Avenue, St. Judes, Plymouth late afternoon today.

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 11:33 pm by Howard Ackford in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh - Bit of Excitement

Usual lunchtime visit to BGM didn't turn up anything too unusual, one of the two recent Ruff and an adult winter pl. Mediterranean Gull being the highlights.  There was however a bit of commotion with all the little birds rising at once, in the middle of the frenzy a Kestrel was mobbed by Meadow Pipits.  Only when the heat died down I realised that we'd just missed the local Buzzard taking a Black-tailed Godwit.  As it carried the carcass from the shallow scrape to the big oak it was followed by four Magpies all looking for a piece of the action. 

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 10:32 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Tottiford Res Gt White Egret

Photo of Great White Egret taken by Samuel Gray aged 11 at Tottiford on Sunday

Great White Egret, by Samuel Gray

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 12:32 pm in General Birding

Black redstart

Female/juv type on roof of new houses in Longstem Drive, Dartington at 9.45 a.m. Trickle of Redwings and Skylarks overhead.

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 10:12 am by Douglas Stannard in General Birding


A large flock of 300+ Redwings and Fieldfares to the N E of Haytor early this morning,feeding voraciously on Rowan berries. Looked like migrants grounded by the mist,as they dispersed as it cleared.

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 9:36 am by Keith Benyon-Tinker in General Birding

Lundy, yesterday – 25 Oct

Further details of all yesterday's excitement are posted here.

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 8:33 am by Tim Jones in General Birding

Tuesday 25th October 2016


A good day ringing in the Reserve today with no less than 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers caught, of which only one was a male - ringed recently. The other three were all juvenile females. 4 Chiffchaffs ringed, 7 Bullfinches, and also 7 Meadow Pipits - a species not ringed in the reserve previously. 10 Blackbirds ringed and 4 retraps. A good range of other species in a total of 48 birds ringed.

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 8:54 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Firecrest in Dawlish

Firecrest , late afternoon in our garden at Kingsdown Close

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 8:18 pm by Paul Barker in General Birding

Tottiford Reservoir

Great White Egret (Ardea alba) feeding with Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 6:41 pm by Mark Dyer in General Birding


at the bottom of  Soussons 11 am  in the clearing, we saw the Great Grey Shrike and within 5 minutes there was a female Hen Harrier coming up the valley from Challacombe, and it returned again half hour later. no Crossbills but you can't have everything. good day!

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 5:22 pm by roger jewell in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings for today,

1m Goosander (first of the Autumn at the lake), 2 Marsh Tit, 10 Tufted Duck, 1 Wren, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 250+ Canada Geese, 2 Nuthatch, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Tree Creeper.

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 2:28 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Female Marsh Harrier still present this lunchtime perched near main lagoons. Also Barn Owl hunting along the back path.

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 12:53 pm by David Cope in General Birding

Monday 24th October 2016

Soussons - Sunday

Early morning visit yesterday. No shrike, but good views of at least 13 Crossbills by entrance gate. Lots of Fieldfare with thrushes and at least 1 ring ouzel. On way back to Moretonhampstead,  just after cattlrgrid a Kestrel sat in tree being mobbed by blue & great Tits 

Common Crossbill

Common Crossbill
Common Crossbill

Posted October 24th, 2016 at 9:52 pm by Paul Treen in General Birding

Exminster marshes

A marsh harrier was quartering the marshes near the Lion's Rest estate at 15.00. Yesterday I saw it at lunch time. Also a few redwing, a few more lapwing, including first year birds - local? Amongst the Canada geese was one barnacle goose.However the number of robins stole the show, well over 20 with most singing. 

Posted October 24th, 2016 at 6:00 pm by John Waldon in General Birding


I always stop at the bridge before the field to the reserve to see if a Kingfisher might be on the river, and frequently, one will zoom up or downstream. This morning I was treated to a Dipper - singing! Then looking south I could see an adult female Marsh Harrier over the reed-bed just beyond the reserve. A good number of Meadow Pipits are also now present - 18 the highest count so far. When I got to the east (Chivenor) side of the reserve I was surprised to see 2 of the Spoonbills roosting on the scrape.

However, a sure sign of Spring (Shorely shome mishtake!) was a Primrose in flower!

Posted October 24th, 2016 at 2:09 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Sunday 23rd October 2016

Plym Estuary & Saltram

On the high tide early afternoon - 122 Redshanks, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, 3 Oystercatchers, 37 Curlews, 5 Little Egrets, and a Wigeon (female). Also Stonechat and Goldcrest.

Posted October 23rd, 2016 at 7:25 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dousland Nr Yelverton

A Yellow-browed Warbler in my garden in Dousland for two hours this morning. Calling & watched down to 15 feet. Also enjoyed by John & Jan Jones. A nice garden first!

Posted October 23rd, 2016 at 1:10 pm by Howard Ackford in General Birding


First Redwings of the autumn in the reserve this morning.

Posted October 23rd, 2016 at 12:18 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Found - Northam Burrows

A member found a quick release plate presumably from a tripod yesterday, if you lost one please contact

Mandy Mander


Posted October 23rd, 2016 at 10:39 am in General Birding

Saturday 22nd October 2016

Paignton and Brixham area

A385 Dartington ~ Tawny owl sat on roadside telegraph pole.

Marine Parade Paignton ~ 22 Turnstones, 9 Oyster Catchers.

Broadsands beach ~ 10 Oyster Catchers, 3 Great Black Backed Gulls.

Brixham inner harbour area 4 Turnstone ~ Outer Harbour 1 Guillemot.

Berry Head from the hide the Guillemot colony was over flowing I suspect well in excess of 500 plus birds.  Around the quarry 2 Stonechat, 2 Wren, possible Yellow Browed Warbler and Tit flock, 2 Raven over head soaring with a Jackdaw flock.

Sparrow Hawk (mobbed by Jackdaws) and Buzzard soaring over the main quarry.


Posted October 22nd, 2016 at 9:50 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


The Great Grey Shrike still 1230-3pm at least at Soussons - in bottom of valley view hillside to left before gate to Soussons - favouring area by the two lone pine trees but always distant . 

Huge numbers of Thrushes present - 3 Ring Ouzels , c100 Fieldfares and c100 Redwings. 

In Soussons Plantation - 7 Crossbill showing well at edge of first cleared area. 

On way home stopped at Tottiford Resevoir at 4pm- on first scan of the southern section , picked up the Great White Egret flying down the Resevoir over the causeway and it landed high up in a tree on the east side of the southern section - some passing walkers told me it had been feeding with a Little Egret on the northern side earlier.

Posted October 22nd, 2016 at 5:38 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Good migration.

A reasonable early walk on Holdstone down this morning provided a migration spectacle. Birds coming in from ssw, and all moving  towards nne,  across the wind coming from sse. Flocks of 100+ of many species moved through for 3 hours that I ended up being there.redwing,  starling, fieldfare,chaffinch, goldfinch flying low tumbling over the heather. Pretty sure a flock of plovers.. 

Plenty of wrens,  meadow pipits, skylarks and stonchats  singular kestral and peregrine. 

Posted October 22nd, 2016 at 5:05 pm by Philip Worth in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

22 members joined the East Devon Branch field trip to Exminster marshes this morning.  The walk started with a sighting of a Peregrine perched on one of the electricty pylons. The marshes themselves were quite dry, with many scattered Lapwing, Curlew and Black-tailed Godwit. A lone Fieldfare on one of the fields was a first for this winter for many of us. By my reckoning, 51 species were seen altogether.

Posted October 22nd, 2016 at 4:50 pm by Richard Swinbank in General Birding


Sightings for today.

1 Willow and 2 Marsh Tit, 1 Water Rail, 3 Snipe, 3 Grey Heron, 11 Tufted Duck, 3 Teal, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Nuthatch, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Mute Swan, 200+ Canada Geese.

Posted October 22nd, 2016 at 4:44 pm by ROD MUDGE in General Birding

Horsey Island

A few birders present this morning to see the Wryneck but the public footpath around Horsey Island between Crossbanks & the White House is closed in the interest of public safety.

Posted October 22nd, 2016 at 11:56 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

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