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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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 7th November 2016

Goosemoor and Bowling Green Marsh

East Devon Branch had arranged a trip to Dart's Farm today, 7 November, but an absence of birds there meant that we immediately walked over to Goosemoor and Bowling Green Marsh.  About 24 people attended, of whom several were new members of DB’s.

About 50 species seen by most people, of which the highlights were 2 Water Rails together, 1 distant f. Goldeneye (on the Exe),1 Spotted Redshank on Goosemoor, 1 adult Mediterranean Gull on the Marsh, small numbers of Avocets on the Marsh, with many more on the Exe.  PIntail (3 m & 1 f), several Shoveler,  A few Bar-tailed Godwits amongst large numbers of Black-tailed, some Knot & Grey Plover from the viewing platform.  About 7 duck and 12 wader spp all told.  1 Buzzard the only raptor, but briefly mobbed by a Raven.  A good day for all, novices or more experienced.   

Posted November 7th, 2016 at 9:29 pm by Colin Randall in General Birding


Probable female being mobbed by a merlin on dartmoor today at 15:30

Posted November 7th, 2016 at 8:45 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Dartmoor today

Had a small flock of Crossbills 30 plus not far from the Warren  House inn.


Posted November 7th, 2016 at 4:42 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

Around the Exe

RSPB Bowling Green Marsh just on the high tide in company with several hundred Black Headed Gull were Common Gull 4, Mediterranean Gull 1, large number of Godwits predominately Black Tailed, 71 + Redshank, Dunlin, Snipe, Curlew,  Pintail and Shoveller Duck.

One of the Black Tailed Godwits was subject of the following reply having been seen in Topsham about 8 weeks ago This bird was ringed in Iceland by Tómas Gunnarsson and co-workers. I sent them your sighting, you should receive the bird's life-story from Bodvar Thorisson. All sightings you get of Black-tailed Godwits with 2 colour rings in each tibia, being the lower right tibia position a Red flag are birds ringed in Iceland by Tómas. If you want, you can send him directly the data from future sights ( 

From the viewing platform a count of 81 Avocet, large numbers of Waders on the opposite bank mostly Godwit, Curlew, Dunlin 156+, Grey Plover and Knot. Several birders present viewed a solitary duck on the water that took flight and landed after a short time in the air was declared a female Golden Eye, female Red Breasted Merganser.

Jays almost constantly overhead collecting food, a Water Rail called and soon after two showed in the ditch just below the platform much to the delight of the East Devon group of DBWPS who were just arriving.

Exminster Marsh, Chiffchaff on arrival at the car park and a female Reed Bunting on leaving. Birders leaving reported a Marsh Harrier that had been showing well. From the hide overlooking the lagoon Widgeon, Tufted Duck 2, Pintail 4 and growing numbers of Canadian Geese, 8 Golden Plover flew low over the hide.

Haldon Forest Park, not the expected build-up of birds but Siskin, Song Thrush, GSWP, Green Finch, Pied Wagtails and a Buzzard showing. On leaving three Fallow doe on the Chudleigh road.

Posted November 7th, 2016 at 3:57 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

East Soar

760 Woodpigeon moving east this morning.. Other migrants: 24 Blackbird in Starehole plus Coal Tit. Female Blackcap & 2 Chiffchaff in willows.

Posted November 7th, 2016 at 3:49 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning, 7 Gooander 3m 4f, 7 Tufted  Duck,2 Wigeon, 1 Water Rail, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Grey Wagtail.

Posted November 7th, 2016 at 2:41 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Sunday 6th November 2016

Braunton Blackcaps

These two were feeding on the Cordilline in my garden this lunchtime.

Posted November 6th, 2016 at 9:44 pm by jon turner in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A reasonably productive visit on this morning's high tide.

Best birds were 3 Kingfishers, 2 Jack Snipes and a redhead Goosander. Also - Curlew 34, Redshank 64, Dunlin, Greenshank, Little Egret 4, Grey Heron 13, Snipe, Goldcrest 2, Grey Wagtail and Mistle Thrush. 

Posted November 6th, 2016 at 5:31 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Holdstone down

An early morning walk this morning sadly didn't repeat the abundance of birds of 3 or so weeks ago,pair of dunnock 3 wrens green woodpecker, robin,high flying peregrine and a large bird of prey,  which definitely wasn't a kite but seemed too big for a buzzard and too dark a brown, but seemed to have very distinct  forward facing wingtip finger feathers. ( but probably just a buzzard). Although couldn't positive Id in books I have.

Posted November 6th, 2016 at 4:59 pm by Philip Worth in General Birding

Torbay boat trip

From photos the Eider seen at the S. end of Goodrington Sands can be identified as an immature male. Both photos show the same individual.

Eider, immature male Eider, immature male - note pale breast
Eider, immature male                                                       Eider, immature male - note pale breast

Little Egret at Oystercatcher roost, Hollicombe
Little Egret at Oystercatcher roost, Hollicombe

Posted November 6th, 2016 at 4:32 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Dipper, Exeter Quayside

Thursday 3rd November, between 1 & 2pm, Dipper seen feeding, turning over stones on the fast running water of Trews Weir, Exeter Quayside, close to the footpath.

Dipper, Trews Weir, Exeter 1

Dipper, Trews Weir, Exeter 2

Dipper, Trews Weir, Exeter

Posted November 6th, 2016 at 4:20 pm by Stephen Curry in General Birding

Torbay Boat Trip

Had a very enjoyable trip around Torbay on the boat with Nigel, saw some quality birds with a great bunch of people.

Turnstone Purple Sandpiper
Turnstone                                                                     Purple Sandpiper


Posted November 6th, 2016 at 2:20 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Boat Trip in Torbay.

This mornings boat trip in Torbay was interesting with the following sighted. 8 Purple Sandpiper, 50+ Turnstone, 28+ Heron, male Teal sitting on a rock, 50 Oystercatcher, Female Eider off Goodrington Sands, Little Egret and 2 Raven. The usual gulls. We have only 3 places left on the 20th Nov trip. Give us a call if interested on 07866202576.

turnstone & Purple sandpiper

Purple Sandpiper and Turnstone

Posted November 6th, 2016 at 2:07 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Fieldfare 06-11-16

Plenty of Fieldfares near Soussons Plantation

Posted November 6th, 2016 at 1:56 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Velator reserve

Lurking on the other side of the pond was this usually secretive Water Rail, mostly heard but not seen. Lots of autumn leaf fall in these northerly winds. also present, at least 3 Chiffchaffs - one of which was a good candidate for Tristis. Good numbers of Goldfinch and Redwing too.

Posted November 6th, 2016 at 12:12 pm by jon turner in General Birding

Saturday 5th November 2016

Warren House Inn/Headland Warren

1f Merlin mid-pm, chasing first a Redwing and then a Meadow Pipit.

Posted November 5th, 2016 at 8:59 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Single Scoter at Preston

1 Common Scoter close inshore at Eastern end of Preston 1030hrs with c 20 Turnstone on the esplanade, and a single Brent Goose at the tideline at Paignton.

Posted November 5th, 2016 at 8:58 pm by Cliff Parrott in General Birding

Soussons - 5 November 2016

No sign of Great Grey Shrike. 1 male and 3 female Common Crossbills (I'm sure there ere a couple more but 4 in sight at one time), 4 Meadow Pipits, 1 female Kestrel, 1 Raven, 1 Green Woodpecker and large mixed flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing.

Male Common Crossbill

Male Common Crossbill


Posted November 5th, 2016 at 8:47 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding

Marsh Harrier

To my surprise found the Marsh Harrier at Exminster Marshes sat with the Canada Geese and neither birds seemed bothered by each other. When it did fly it disappeared north towards the M5 bridge.

Posted November 5th, 2016 at 7:48 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Roadford Lake

Juvenile Long Tailed Duck still. Showing well from the viaduct this morning.

Posted November 5th, 2016 at 7:42 pm by Trevor Nobbs in General Birding


1 Red-throated Diver off shore and a Firecrest at n end of beach in scrub up toward the Viaduct.

Posted November 5th, 2016 at 3:59 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding


 Suprised to find Paul's Marsh Harrier still around. At 8am it was fllying about the marsh then after 5 mins was harassed by a crow and flew up the vally behind the hide. Half an hour later it made a brief return and was then lost. Supporting cast included Cetti's warbler, Little Grebe, 6 Snipe, grey wagtail, 9 Teal, 2 Song Thrush and Heron over.  

Posted November 5th, 2016 at 12:44 pm by John Lusher in General Birding

Brixham Breakwater

Walk along the Brixham Breakwater this sunny morning had 8 Purple sandpiper, Are they the same 8 as in Torquay?? These birds are at the far end on the old fuel jetty sitting on some rusty pipes. Hope still around tomorrow morning as I'm running a Torbay boat trip, still have places if interested. call 07866202576.

Posted November 5th, 2016 at 10:34 am by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Friday 4th November 2016

Purple Sandpipers - Torquay Breakwater

At least 8 Purple Sandpipers towards the end of Eastern Arm at low tide today ( 1300hrs )

Posted November 4th, 2016 at 5:30 pm by Cliff Parrott in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

13:00-15:00, Curlew Drive -  Charleton Marsh, low tide.

5 Brent Geese, 5 Pintail, 3 Red- breasted Mergansers, 382 Golden Plovers and 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls. On the marsh 4 Snipe, Water Rail and a Blackcap in sub-song by the hide. 12 Collared Doves in the sewage works is the largest flock I've seen in Charleton for a while.

Posted November 4th, 2016 at 4:13 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Start Point - Beesands

Got to Start Point first thing. Looked good but the showers came to late just before daybreak. Only saw Mistle Thrush, 2 Fieldfares, 2 Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff. Dropped down to North Hallsands where it was slightly better with Blackcap, 3 Chifffchaffs, Goldcrest and a Reed Bunting. Star bird on Beesands Ley was a male Goldeneye (rare here ). also Wigeon, 46 Gadwall and a Water Rail.

Posted November 4th, 2016 at 4:07 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Watched this morning from 8.30am till 10.30am. All the usual waders and wildfowl in good numbers along with 1 med gull and 1 golden plover. Happy to see the plover. A peregrine passed over and put everything up. Also in the hawthorn at the back of the lagoon a male and female bullfinch. Thanks to the RSPB volunteers in the hide for the coffee.

Posted November 4th, 2016 at 4:01 pm by Steph Murphy in General Birding

Dunsdon DWT

On the car park feeder this morning, 1 Willow and 2 Marsh Tit, 1 Nuthatch, 2 Great Tit, 3 Coal Tit, 4 Blue Tit.

Posted November 4th, 2016 at 2:17 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Thursday 3rd November 2016

Goosemoor/Bowling Green Marsh

At Goosemoor from the cycle path, looking for yesterday's Snipe, only to find a Jack Snipe in its place (very briefly) on the reed edge.  Unfortunately no other witnesses but short bill & 'sewing machine' action were diagnostic. Also there again a Water Rail.

Posted November 3rd, 2016 at 11:27 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Home Farm Marsh

Main pond this morning 108Teal 76 Wigeon 6 Pintail 5 Shoveller.Small pond 43Wigeon.On the estuary 700Golden Plover with 200 Lapwing all put up by a Perigrine Falcon.

Posted November 3rd, 2016 at 8:30 pm by Geoff Taylor in General Birding

Wednesday 2nd November 2016


Morning at Soussons. At approx 08:45 large numbers of Fieldfare and Redwing feeding in the berry trees at the bottom of the track from the car park near Warren Inn, just as you turn to head down the valley - they had dispersed when i returned at lunchtime. At about 09:45 located the Great Grey Shrike in the tall conifers about 100 yards before the clear fell - watched it unsuccessfully chase a small tit after which it disappeared. Found it again for a short while at the very top of the clear fell. Also saw 1 raven, 2 Buzzards, 1 male Kestrel and 1 Green Woodpecker male Kestrel

Posted November 2nd, 2016 at 8:44 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding

Harleston near Slapton

As with Doug's Post male Blackcap in garden, first since Sep so probably a migrant from Central Europe!

Posted November 2nd, 2016 at 3:58 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


On Tarka Trail on well-wooded section between Manteo Way and Torridge Bridge (east side of river), a Marsh Tit in with a small flock of commoner species. In the narrow ditches in marsh under Torridge Bridge, a Common Sandpiper.

Posted November 2nd, 2016 at 1:32 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding


Some visible migration for once over Dartington this morning - 360 Fieldfare, 80 Redwing and 10 Blackbirds, all going North East. A male Blackcap in the garden was the first since September so suspect new arrival.

Posted November 2nd, 2016 at 10:45 am by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Trewsweir Exeter Little Grebe

Little Grebe feeding on weed area adjacent to the new string of black buoys, on upstream side of Trewsweir at 09:00 this morning. also Tufted Duck.

Posted November 2nd, 2016 at 9:14 am by Mike Booth in General Birding

Tuesday 1st November 2016

Shipley Bridge/Avon Dam

Late afternoon: c350 Fieldfares, c150 Redwings and 1 Ring Ouzel. Lovely to see big numbers of the winter Thrushes!

Posted November 1st, 2016 at 10:27 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Torquay Inner Harbour

Kingfisher moving around the harbour  c 1600hrs this afternoon.

Posted November 1st, 2016 at 8:58 pm by Cliff Parrott in General Birding

East Devon NNR

This afternoon at the northern end of the reserve I saw the largest flock of Redwings and Fieldfares that I have ever seen. Every bush and tree was covered in birds feeding furiously, impossible to count accurately but there were easily over 1000 birds with more flying in all the time. If the numbers of birds that I have seen in a relatively small area of Dartmoor are reflected throughout the Moor the number of winter thrushes must be in the region of tens of thousands!

Posted November 1st, 2016 at 4:02 pm by Keith Benyon-Tinker in General Birding

Dunsdon DWT

I have  three feeders at Dunsdon, this is the first viewing, 2 Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, 3 Blue/ 2 Great/ 3 Coal Tit, 1 Robin, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Nuthatch, 3 Chaffinch.

Posted November 1st, 2016 at 2:39 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

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