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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Wednesday 30th November 2016


An excellent days birding in the Thurlestone area with Ian P.

Desert Wheatear showed well early morning on Leas foot Beach but moved over to South Huish by the flats late morning (11.50) probably due to the disturbance.

2 Black redstarts - female Leas foot and adult male South Huish.

Water Pipit, 2 Black tailed godwits, 50+ Snipe, 60 Teal and 40 Wigeon - South Huish marsh. Curlew over late afternoon.

4+ Water Rails (South Milton/South Huish), 8 Ringed Plover, 8 Turnstone and a Sanderling South Huish beach and a female Common Scoter in the bay.

8+ Chiffchaff South Milton ley.

Posted November 30th, 2016 at 8:09 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Purple Sandpipers - Torquay Breakwater

7 Purple Sandpipers along the breakwater, late this afternoon.

Posted November 30th, 2016 at 7:47 pm by Cliff Parrott in General Birding

Exe Estuary cruise

This afternoon's Stuart Lines cruise produced the Bonaparte's Gull again off Exmouth and the Long-tailed Duck by Topsham ferry. In between were 2 Slavonian Grebes (off Cockwood), 12 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Pintail (but not the 6 Gadwall present yesterday, which were my first ever in the estuary), c30 Golden Plover, c250+ Avocets, c120 Knot, c10 Sanderling, 3 Greenshank, masses of gulls (3 L B-b and 100+ Common), Guillemot (off Cockwood), Kingfisher and hundreds/thousands of Black-tailed Godwits and Dunlin.

Posted November 30th, 2016 at 6:40 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Teignmouth Seafront

Nine Eider just offshore, three males. Close in - 150m off the Point car park a Great Northern Diver.

Posted November 30th, 2016 at 5:02 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

South Hams

On the outskirts of Thurlestone a large flock of finch like birds feeding on a weed and stubble field on checking a flock of predominantly Linnets took to the wing in excess of 200 birds which included a handful of Goldfinch.

The Desert Wheatear continues to draw birders to Leasfoot beach by the Golf club, the bird was showing well despite a JCB working on the beach, also showing was a female Black Redstart and a single Rock Pipit.


South Milton beach at least five Rock Pipits, eight Ring Plover, single Heron and Little Egret, three Oyster Catchers, a first winter Common Gull flew from the sea onto South Huish Marsh.

South Efford Marsh, Aveton Gifford at least four Bullfinch, two Stonechat, three Wren, twelve Curlew, Kingfisher, three sightings of I suspect the same bird, three Little Grebe, six Common Sandpipers, one Green Sandpiper, one Heron and three Little Egrets, Teal moving around the marsh and a Buzzard overhead being mobbed by Jackdaws.

Posted November 30th, 2016 at 5:01 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

East Soar to Southdown Farm

Glorious crisp conditions on the high fields! Morning's tally included 120 Gannet feeding out beyond the Ham Stone, 360 Golden Plover, Lapwing, 2 Snipe, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, 39 Stock Dove, 477 Skylark, still 24 Blackbird in Soar Mill Valley, Linnets down to 60.

2 Roe Does!

Posted November 30th, 2016 at 3:29 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Tuesday 29th November 2016

Hembury Woods

1 Woodcock at dusk.

Posted November 29th, 2016 at 11:08 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Pil Tor, Widecombe, Dartmoor

A flock of about 50 golden plover was present this afternoon, feeding 2-300 metres SW of Pil Tor (2km ESE of Widecombe). They were flushed several times by dog walkers - it seems likely that a flock of about the same size seen flying over the valley east of Haytor on the way home was the same group.

Posted November 29th, 2016 at 9:43 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Emsworthy NR Dartmoor

Great Grey Shrike around the barn at 12.15 this morning and moved off to the north.

Joe Higman

Posted November 29th, 2016 at 7:40 pm in General Birding


3 Goosanders ( 2M,1F ), on the River Dart below Staverton Bridge this afternoon.

Posted November 29th, 2016 at 7:17 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Northam Burrows

Two Snow Buntings today seen near the 8th tee next to the estuary.

Roger Jewell and Mike Gibson


Posted November 29th, 2016 at 5:47 pm in General Birding

Broadsands - Elberry cove

28 brent geese midway between elberry and Broadsands at midday. very close to shore. (had my bins with me today!) 

Posted November 29th, 2016 at 4:37 pm by graham folkerd in General Birding


10 Brent Geese and 1 Eider on a very rough sea!

Posted November 29th, 2016 at 4:19 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding


The Broadsands car parks gave up to five Cirl Buntings.

A female Reed Bunting, two Buzzards, two Jays and a Kestrel over the car park.

The corner of the left hand car park gave three Goldcrest and another two on leaving with good numbers of Goldfinch feeding on the Alders.


Posted November 29th, 2016 at 4:07 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Around the Axe

Yellow-browed Warbler still at Lower Bruckland Ponds this morning around the top pond (please keep to public footpath). Also three Black Redstarts about (Seaton Hole and Seaton seafront), and last night three Goosander and two ad Med Gulls on the Estuary.

Black Redstart
Black Redstart

Yellow-browed Warbler
Yellow-browed Warbler

Posted November 29th, 2016 at 2:07 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding


Long-tailed Duck still present this morning with a host of different waders. Up to 5 Goosander seen.

Posted November 29th, 2016 at 1:46 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Monday 28th November 2016

Elberry/Brixham harbour

19 Brent Geese just off Elberry Cove this morning. Also possible immature Eider duck, in the cove.(have pictures, will post them when

checked out). In Brixham harbour and beyond the breakwater, 3 Great Northern Divers.

Posted November 28th, 2016 at 11:39 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in General Birding


Plenty of the usual waders around, Redshank,Dunlin,Curlew,Oystercatcher,Lapwing in good numbers Also a Greenshank feeding on its own just off Fremington Quay .Grey Heron,Little Egret,and 6 Spoonbills seen feeding. One of them had blue and white band on the right leg and green yellow green on the left. A Widgeon with some Teal didn't appear to know which way was up! There was also a Kingfisher flying along the shoreline, along with Linnets. Redwings seen along with Wood Pigeon feeding on the berries. 

Posted November 28th, 2016 at 8:25 pm by Christopher Rufus-Marshall in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Late morning (low tide) - Snipe 6+, Jack Snipe 2, Greenshank, Goldcrest, Redwing 6, Roe Deer 2 does.

Posted November 28th, 2016 at 7:37 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Red Kite.

Red Kite seen just north of Aller Cross Roundabout South Molton. Feeding on roadkill.

Posted November 28th, 2016 at 7:24 pm by Jeremy Hickman in General Birding


Desert Wheatear early this morning also three Black Redstarts two f and a fine male bird.

Posted November 28th, 2016 at 7:17 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

Thurlestone Beach

At last a chance to catch up with the Desert Wheatear with the bonus of a Black Redstart and some sunshine. Also 2 Rock Pipits, female Stonechat, 2 Oystercatchers and 3 gannets fishing offshore.

Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear

Black Redstart
Black Redstart

Posted November 28th, 2016 at 7:01 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding

Broadsands - Elberry cove

brent geese. 5 in elberry cove and  a further separate 4 at entry into broadsands bay close to coast path. 

Posted November 28th, 2016 at 6:01 pm by graham folkerd in General Birding

Dartmoor & Plymouth

An early morning visit to DWT Emsworthy Mire failed to locate the reported Grey Shrike, bitterly cold on the moors today, a small number of Fieldfare and Mistle Thrush and other than corvids little else to be seen.

At the entrance to Holwell three Stonechat and a flock of 20 Starlings.

Grey Wagtail at Yarner.

Later in the day a visit to Ford Park Cemetery, Plymouth gave small numbers of Mistle Thrush and Redwing, three Wrens and one very confiding Ring Necked Parakeet and lots of Blue and Great Tit around the feed station.

Posted November 28th, 2016 at 4:48 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Topsham Rec

1 Long tailed duck, 2 Goldeneyes and 6 Red-breasted mergansers at the rec this morning.

Posted November 28th, 2016 at 12:58 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Sunday 27th November 2016

South Huish Marsh

A flock of 10 Barnacle Geese was present on South Huish Marsh this morning at about 8:30.

Posted November 27th, 2016 at 6:45 pm by Tom Gale in General Birding

black redstarts

Two black redstarts showing well earlier this morning, But constantly being harassed by the desert wheatear!!

Posted November 27th, 2016 at 5:43 pm by patrick ag hawkins in General Birding

Desert Wheatear

Still showing well on Thurlestone Beach, under the golf course, at lunchtime today. 

A Black Redstart on eastern edge of the beach.

Posted November 27th, 2016 at 5:14 pm by Martin Lavelle in General Birding

Long Tailed Duck, Topsham

Short Video of LTD at Topsham yesterday.

Long Tailed Duck
Long Tailed Duck

Posted November 27th, 2016 at 3:17 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Emsworthy & Yarner Wood

Got to DWT Emsworthy early as the weather was very dismal. Located the Shrike straight away at the top of a tree on the reserve. Managed to get some record shots as conditions not too brilliant. What a stunner! Carried on to Yarner Wood looking for the Brambling but no sign.

Great Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

Grey Wagtail at Yarner Wood
Grey Wagtail at Yarner Wood

Posted November 27th, 2016 at 1:15 pm by Steph Murphy in General Birding

Taw Estuary Long Tailed Duck

Good views of the juvenile Long Tailed Duck from behind RGB this morning for 45 minutes, diving repeatedly and once out on the bank for a few seconds. Six Goosander (2m 4f) also put in an a brief appearance along with a wide range of the usual species. Cold though!

Posted November 27th, 2016 at 11:41 am by alan craddock in General Birding

Saturday 26th November 2016

Wembury Bay

Early afternoon - Water Pipit among a handful of Rock Pipits near the point, a Red-throated Diver flew by and also an adult Mediterrarean Gull and 3 Cirl Buntings.

No sign of the possible Azores Gull, nor of many large gulls at all.

Posted November 26th, 2016 at 7:25 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

As below post from Mark Bailey Exminster marsh well worth a visit presently, the female Long Tailed duck showing as described on the river to the front of the cottage, just beyond the ferry bridge and about 100 yards up from where the river forks at Topsham rec.


The reported Barnacle Geese showing well from the roadside near the Lions Rest Industrial estate, huge numbers of Canadian Geese, good numbers of Brent Geese and a few Grey Lags as well.

Over 100 Lapwings rose from the marsh at one point.

Posted November 26th, 2016 at 5:04 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


Bleak, overcast day with a moderate NE. Had a look around Ireland Bay this morning, still good numbers of wildfowl, 2 Shovelers, 76 Gadwall, 78 Tufted Duck, 2 Wigeons and a male Goldeneye. Worryingly no Pochard. Also 3 Little Grebes and 50 Coot plus around 180 in a raft further south on the Lower Ley. Best bird was a briefly seen then heard calling Siberian Chiffchaff by the boardwalk towards Deer Bridge near the sewage works with a roving tit flock. Bumped into Mike Langman in the Ireland Bay Quarry and he picked up what was probably another bird calling. Offshore 15 Common Scoter and 10 Brent Geese flew north.

Posted November 26th, 2016 at 4:54 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Emsworthy NR, Dartmoor

Great Grey Shrike today at the red-roofed barn below Saddle Tor - Andrew Taylor.

Posted November 26th, 2016 at 4:12 pm in General Birding

Colebrook - Winter Visitors

A very welcome and rare visitor to the back garden was my second only Treecreeper.  The previous was way back in Oct 2007.  In with the foraging tit flock it was in the company of a Goldcrest, a pair of Blackcap and a female Bullfinch.  All very welcome to see, but where's my Firecrest?

Posted November 26th, 2016 at 1:54 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

A brilliant morning - the female Long Tailed Duck still on the River Exe viewable from the cottage near the lock (flew in at 840am) and then moved slightly upriver opposite Topsham Rec.  16 Barnacle Geese ( flock of 14 near end car park and the resisdent 2 in with the Canadas). The Marsh Harrier sat out on the marsh , Pale Bellied Brent Goose, Kingfisher (by lock), Water Rail, 10 Greylag Geese And a flock of 500 Redwing flew north. Thousands of Wigeon on main marsh.

Posted November 26th, 2016 at 10:42 am by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Friday 25th November 2016

25-11-16 Desert Wheatear

Showing again very well

Posted November 25th, 2016 at 10:28 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Desert Wheatear

Sorry - forgot to upload photos

Posted November 25th, 2016 at 8:52 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Desert Wheatear, Thurlestone

Desert wheatear showing ridiculously close today on the beach at Thurlestone in sunny conditions but with a biting cold wind - a  beautiful and charismatic bird indeed.

Posted November 25th, 2016 at 8:33 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding


Sorry Eds! But with the season of merriment fast approaching, could not resist posting a pic of this cheeky " Devon Birds" loving blue tit that joined me in the hide at Roadford today! Think he was asking me if I was a Member! Not much to report on other birds there, Goldeneye the highlight. 

Posted November 25th, 2016 at 8:00 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Exminister Marsh

Visited 0815-1000.

13 Barnacle Geese, Imm F Marsh Harrier, 540+ Redwing (flying north), 15 Fieldfare (flying north), 200+ Lapwing, 2500+ Wigeon, 17 Pintail & 6 Shoveler. 

Posted November 25th, 2016 at 7:27 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding


Common Scoter still at Downend this morning. However, the bird on the left in the photo with Cinnamon plumage resembles a female Teal but I am not 100% certain it is a Common Teal?

Posted November 25th, 2016 at 6:33 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding


2 flocks of Woodpigeons, c200 and c40 seen flying high and purposefully south over Salcombe late morning. Working, not birding so others may have gone through unnoticed.

Posted November 25th, 2016 at 5:49 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

What a lovely crisp day on the marsh today. Found the small group of Barnacle Geese on the scrape, plus many Redwing and Fieldfare nipping around. So much bird life on the marsh we were spoilt for choice. Brent, Canada's, Snipe, Wigeon, Teal, etc. Met Dave Boult who showed us a great place to photograph the female Long Tailed Duck, which was bobbing around with a Little Grebe, so, many thanks Dave.

Posted November 25th, 2016 at 5:39 pm by stephanie murphy in General Birding

Velator reserve

While clearing some brushwood this morning I paused for coffee and a Chiffchaff appeared taking bugs off the Alder trees by the pond. It was soon joined by a second and then a third, and this one was a pale grey individual looking very similar to the one we ringed a couple of weeks ago, so Siberian Chiffchaff number two! Reserve busy with birds: Many Redwing and Chaffinch, at least two Goldcrest, Cetti's Warbler calling, ditto Water Rail. Dipper and Kingfisher seen in the river on the way in. As I left for lunch, a Song Thrush was near one of the Guelder Rose we planted a few years back and is now heavy with beautiful red berries. To my surprise, 4 more Song Thrushes appeared and took berries from the tree. Next to it 2 Greenfinch were ripping into the huge rose-hips - from an ornamental rose planted at the same time as the Guelder Rose.

Posted November 25th, 2016 at 4:54 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Stover Country Park

12 members of DB attended this mornings field trip around the lake and woodlands.  A Treecreeper was reported early in the car park but not seen again. No Grebes and few ducks were present other than Mallard, 3 Pochard,  some Tufted Duck and a pair of Teal.  The main interest was a f. Kingfisher and small birds around the feeders.  These included close views of a pair of Bullfinch, several Siskin, Nuthatch, Tits (1 Marsh present) and a Gt Spotted Woodpecker. (Bullfinch were seen in other areas of the park and possibly numbered four pairs).  A couple of Mistle Thrush were seen at a distance in the meadows to the south and a third present in trees on north side of lake.  A couple of Jays were also present and a single Goldcrest (which were surprisingly absent as were winter Thrushes).

Note:  Members wishing to attend East Devon Branch Christmas lunch at Escot Park on Monday 12 December must pre-book with Sheila Sherburn by the end of November please. Contact details in Programme. 

Posted November 25th, 2016 at 3:51 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Woodbury Common

Great Grey Shrike @ 13.10 approx 1000m east of Woodbury Castle.The shrike flew onto a stunted tree 20 m away & perched for 20 secs or so before flying low down the valley.

Birds also seen include 4 bullfinch,2 meadow pipit, great-spotted woodpecker,goldcrest,mistle thrush,stonechat,buzzard with wren heard sensibly sheltering from the cold wind

Posted November 25th, 2016 at 3:24 pm by Ian Pearson in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

A pleasant walk mid morning around the lower part of the marshes.Fields wet but not as flooded as I would have expected. A small flock of 13 barnacle geese were grazing to the north of the lagoon until disturbed by the imm marsh harrier. Nearer the road another, probably the resident, barnacle goose was with Canada geese and a few strange hybrids. Elsewhere 6 greylag geese, lots of wigeon (estimate over 1,500), teal, pintail and shoveller (c20 on the lagoon). Also seen were a couple of song thrushes, lots of blackbirds, c100 redwing and a few fieldfare. I heard 3 Cettis and saw 2 chiffchaff and 2 goldcrest.

Posted November 25th, 2016 at 2:19 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary-Long-tailed Duck

One Long-tailed Duck seen to fly up the estuary at about 10:00 hours, landing by the Saltstone and then swimming up the main channel with the incoming tide.

Posted November 25th, 2016 at 2:01 pm by Barrie Whitehall in General Birding

Thursday 24th November 2016

Brambling and G.S. Woodpeckers at Yarner Wood

Cock brambling seen today on bird feeder at bottom hide at Yarner Wood Reserve, also 3 great spotted woodpeckers.

Posted November 24th, 2016 at 10:46 pm by Bob Barrow in General Birding

Topsham Rec

Just an update on the female Long-tailed Duck which was still on the River Exe at Topsham Rec at 13.45. It was favouring the section of river opposite the top end of the play park area. Also there a male Kingfisher showing very closely.

Posted November 24th, 2016 at 7:20 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

clennon today

The birds at Broadsands had more sense than us. There was nothing visible in the wild water or the car parks except  two oystercatchers and one cormorant. Clennon yielded one kingfisher, one grey wagtail, two little grebes and one tufted duck. however still a pleasant day

Posted November 24th, 2016 at 5:24 pm by philip l. fairclough in General Birding

Home FarmMarsh

9am from main hide.male Marsh Harrier hunting over pond and field,put up 200 plus teal a few wigeon and a redshank,shortly after a Perergine flew by.300plus Lapwing over Isley Marsh.

Posted November 24th, 2016 at 4:07 pm by Geoff Taylor in General Birding

Topsham Rec

Long-tailed duck again this morning at 07:40

Posted November 24th, 2016 at 12:39 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Wednesday 23rd November 2016

Hembury Woods

1 Woodcock, late afternoon.

Posted November 23rd, 2016 at 10:51 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding


On the walk up to the hide a BLACK REDSTART on the electric fence post.

Posted November 23rd, 2016 at 8:37 pm by Terry Goddard in General Birding

Great Grey Shrike at Fernworthy

Great Grey Shrike at Fernworthy - in the clear-felled area about half-way along the south side of the reservoir. Also about 30 Mistle Thrush and 50 Fieldfare.

Posted November 23rd, 2016 at 5:04 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding

Topsham Rec

Long-tailed duck at Topsham Rec at 07:35.  Also adult Med gull flew over, heading up river.

Posted November 23rd, 2016 at 2:10 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Tuesday 22nd November 2016

Black Redstart sighting

Tuesday November 22, 2pm: Two black redstarts, Plymouth city centre - on and around trees in Millbay Park, Citadel Road, opposite Duke of Cornwall Hotel.

Posted November 22nd, 2016 at 2:20 pm by C Elder in General Birding

Topsham Recreation Ground

The road to Bowling Green Marsh was closed today due to flooding further down so I made a detour to Topsham Rec. At first the place appeared to be almost birdless with the river very high, so I was surprised to find a Long-tailed Duck - looked like an adult female to me - feeding in mid river. Still there when I left at about 1.40. Also 2 Red-breasted Mergansers.

Posted November 22nd, 2016 at 1:56 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Older Posts in General Birding →

← Newer Posts in General Birding