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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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 14th November 2016

Goodrington and Clennon valley

A quick check of the pond and wildlife area at Goodrington produced 1 water rail (2 seen + 1 heard), 5 tufted duck, a low buzzard and a grey wagtail. Moving on to Clennon ponds, 6 teal, 7 gadwall, 3 water rail, 1 dabchick, 1 kingfisher, 1 little egret, 1 grey heron, 2 sparrowhawks, 1 cetti's warbler (heard), 3 grey wagtails.

Posted November 14th, 2016 at 8:30 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

River Dart

On the River dart today, just below the bridge to sewage works before Buckfastleigh - 1 male Goosander, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Grey Wagtail, 3 Dipper

Male Goosander     Little Grebe
Male Goosander                                                                  Little Grebe

Posted November 14th, 2016 at 7:59 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Today Lower Tamar Lake,
10 Goosander 5m 5f, 3 Gadwall 3m 1f, 12 Tufted Duck, 1 Mute Swan, 2 Great Black-backed Gull, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 12 Mallard, 2 Nuthatch, c50 Black-headed Gull, 2 Moorhen, 2 Robin, 4 Coal Tit, 1 Great Tit, 4 House Sparrow, 2 Dunnock, 3 Blue Tit, 4 Chaffinch, 2 Marsh Tit.

Posted November 14th, 2016 at 7:31 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Start Point/Beesands/Slapton

Went to Start Point first thing but quiet. Little bit of vis mig going on but way up high and difficult to see. About 100 Chaffinches, 30 Goldfinches and a Reed Bunting. Dropped down to Beesands to do the WeBS count. Nice to hear at least 3 Water Rails and the Goldeneye still there. Had a chilled look around Slapton Ley from 09:30-15:00. Good numbers of wildfowl in Ireland Bay and lots of Coot at Torcross, little in between. Selected counts were 8 Little Grebes, 40+ Wigeons, 87 Gadwalls, 3 Shovelers, 144 Tufted Ducks and 293 Coots. Also adult Mediterranean Gull and a Kingfisher by the bridge. Highlights were Mike L's Scaup still present in Ireland Bay and a Black-necked Grebe ( little else ) out in the bay.



Posted November 14th, 2016 at 6:34 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Around the Axe

Looking forward to the arrival of the promised cold weather, will hopefully shake things up a bit. 

Best sighting for me today was a male Goosander flying up the River Coly at Colyford.  The Little Stint is still on the Estuary with 13 Dunlin, 2 Grey Plover, an ad Med Gull and a hybrid (Yellow-legged like) large Gull.

Posted November 14th, 2016 at 3:37 pm by Steve Waite in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

The Marsh Harrier was perched up on a bush in the middle of the marsh this lunchtime at around 1.40. Thanks to Ian for pointing it out to me.

Posted November 14th, 2016 at 2:32 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Braunton Marsh

Spent another hour or so on Crane search this morning, covering the toll road, Horsey Island and all the fields I could see into on Braunton Marsh. No sightings. However they have been seen - in flight over Ashford and also in flight from the Tarka Trail just before I got to the entry to the reserve...... They were apparently heading out in the general direction of Crow Point

Best keep looking I suppose!

Posted November 14th, 2016 at 1:23 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Skern/Northam Burrows Sunday 13th November

Large number of birds present on a beautiful late afternoon hight tide.

Black-tailed and Bar-tailed godwits, Dunlin, Pintail, Widgeon,Brent geese and a Barnacle goose

Bar-tailed Godwit   Black-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit                                                                            Black-tailed Godwit

Barnacle Goose
Barnacle Goose

Posted November 14th, 2016 at 10:10 am by Richard yeats in General Birding

Sunday 13th November 2016

Dousland near Yelverton

My first Brambling of the winter in my garden in Dousland this morning.

Posted November 13th, 2016 at 11:46 pm by Howard Ackford in General Birding


An early morning visit to Downend this morning produced 10 female Common Scoter + 1 Red throated Diver.

Posted November 13th, 2016 at 6:49 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Braunton Marsh

Four Common Cranes. 12:00

Kindly pointed out to me by a couple who saw them fly in. Birds situated to the West of the toll road about 800m from the road close to herd of cattle half way to the white house. Too distant to see any leg rings

Posted November 13th, 2016 at 5:42 pm by John Bronze in General Birding

Horsey Island

Returned from the evening Crane vigil, Crane-less, but did see all 6 Spoonbills come in to roost. Don't be fooled by the light evening, or the time on the picture, I haven't adjusted it since the clocks went back!

4 of the 6 which came to roost. + a few Waders!
4 of the 6 which came to roost. + a few Waders!

Posted November 13th, 2016 at 5:35 pm by jon turner in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Geese Quarries - Charleton Marsh, 10:00-13:00, low tide.

Great Northern Diver ( around saltstone ), 8 Little Grebes, 7 Great Crested Grebes, 41 Brent Geese, c500 Wigeon, 23 Pintail and a Grey Plover. One Red Admiral enjoying the sun.

Posted November 13th, 2016 at 5:11 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Roadford Reservoir

Good clear conditions with no wind - smooth surface on the reservoir.

1 Long tailed Duck showing well, 2 male Goldeneye, 11 Great Crested Grebe, 6 Cormorants, 2 Little Grebe, 4 Teal, 1 Pochard, 24 Coot, 1 Raven over.

Harvey Kendall & Barry Bryne.

Posted November 13th, 2016 at 3:53 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Common Cranes

I was down at Horsey Island at about 7.15 this morning but no sign of any Cranes. I had a text-chat with Mark Bailey who said the 4 Cranes which roosted at Exminster Marsh a few years ago, took off at dawn! So, in the hope that these will feed elsewhere and return to roost, I will head down again shortly to see if they return.

Posted November 13th, 2016 at 2:52 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Braunton Burrows

Four Common Crane

Kindly pointed out to me by a couple who had seen the birds fly in. Now located to the West of the toll road at a distance of 800m close to herd of cattle about half way to the white house.

Posted November 13th, 2016 at 12:23 pm by John Bronze in General Birding

Saturday 12th November 2016


379 Redwings heading W over my garden in Topsham this morning in a number of flocks. Also ad Med gull, 4 Red-breasted mergansers & 2 Little grebes Topsham rec. 1 Spotted red Goosemoor.

Posted November 12th, 2016 at 10:53 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Venford Reservoir

2 male and 6 female Goosanders at the far end of the reservoir sighted at 2pm today.

Posted November 12th, 2016 at 5:29 pm by Robin Stanbridge in General Birding

Shipley Bridge to Avon Dam, South Brent

Interesting walk up to the Avon Dam at 10am this morning. On the way up a peregrine chasing a flock of 5 wood pigeon. Flew out of sight before a kill. 2 Teal flying up to the dam. 3 kestrel in different locations. Lots of blackbirds, but the ouzels, as expected, appear to have gone. Unusually a male bullfinch in the quarry the highlight for me, until on the way back in the location where I had earlier seen the peregrine, on the West side of Dockwell Ridge, I had yet another view, as it glided low over the moor, of the ringtail Hen Harrier that has been seen quite a few times in the area. A distant record shot only!

Distant shot of Hen Harrier - Shipley -12.11.2016
Distant shot of Hen Harrier - Shipley -12.11.2016

Posted November 12th, 2016 at 3:48 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Friday 11th November 2016

Dartington and Slapton Ley - 11 November 2016

Three Fieldfare in the garden this morning at Week, Dartington, with a few more heard from a neighbouring orchard but not a large flock. From the bridge at Slapton Ley at dusk gave 3 Cetti's Warblers, 1 Snipe, 1 Swallow, 1 grey Heron and large number of Starling-(others reported a Peregrine through the flock from their viewpoint along the coast path). Large numbers but a very limited murmuration.

Fieldfare in the garden. Starling Starling
Fieldfare in the garden                                           Starlings                                                           Starlings

Posted November 11th, 2016 at 9:40 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding

Skern Northam Burrows

Among the Brentson the high tide a barnacle goose on its own who eventually flew off towards Hartland,good numbers of regular waders and ducks and golden plover over.Lovely calm day.

Posted November 11th, 2016 at 6:44 pm by Jenny and John Elvin in General Birding

Water Rail and Shoveler Duck at Clennon Lakes

At Clennon Lakes - A Water Rail showing very well on the third lake, at least another two were heard and on the first lake a single Shoveler Duck


Posted November 11th, 2016 at 6:09 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Soussons Great Grey Shrike

Showed really well just to north of woods from two moors way approx 2pm

Posted November 11th, 2016 at 4:46 pm by M&L Noble in General Birding

Marsh Harrier Exminster Marsh Friday 2.00pm

Good views of marsh harrier quartering the reserve. Crows doing their best to thwart the harrier. Spectacular  views of spooked flocks all over the marsh.  Peregrine on usual perch on pylon.

Posted November 11th, 2016 at 4:34 pm by Patrick Case in General Birding

Velator Reserve

One of the first birds out of the net this morning was the Reserve's second Firecrest. We also caught the tenth Great Spotted Woodpecker this autumn (and retrapped two others!)

Worryingly, looking back through the record sheets we have only ringed 10 Greenfinch since May. Where are they all?

Posted November 11th, 2016 at 2:19 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


The Spotted Redshank was at Goosemoor again this lunchtime at 1.50.

Posted November 11th, 2016 at 2:15 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Downend + Baggy Point

 13 female Common Scoters at Downend & a flock of 40 more in flight heading south towards Hartland Point past Baggy point.

Posted November 11th, 2016 at 2:07 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Thursday 10th November 2016

Powderham Marsh

Singing cirl bunting, and pretty sure a siberian chiffchaff, at Powderham today. The latter had a very 'flat' call, which got my attention, but then gave me a brief burst of song - 'swee-swoo-swee-swoo' rather than the usual song. Hope that's right for siberian? I was pleased to find it! :)

Posted November 10th, 2016 at 8:01 pm by Helen Whitall in General Birding

Black Redstarts

On behalf of G. Suter. 2 Black Redstart, Beacon Rd Kingswear. Seen this morning 10/11

Posted November 10th, 2016 at 3:09 pm by Ian Hull in General Birding


A Spotted Redshank was showing well at Goosemoor at about 2.15 this lunchtime along with Redshanks and Greenshanks.

Posted November 10th, 2016 at 2:55 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

dawlish warren

we had a good day walking around the warren, plenty of oyster catchers,dunlin, turnstones ,curlew, two red breasted mergansers, a single sanderling, grey plover and the usual cormarants and waders etc, out to sea there were two great crested grebes, a red throated diver and Eider duck just as we were leaving the Bonapartes gull landed on the 2nd groyne in front of us.

Posted November 10th, 2016 at 10:20 am by roger jewell & mike gibson in General Birding

Wednesday 9th November 2016



Male Mandarin amongst large group of Mallards on River Dart beneath Brutus Bridge, Totnes.

Posted November 9th, 2016 at 8:07 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Aveton Gifford and South Huish

Aveton Gifford tidal road just before the high tide Common Sand Piper 7+, Redshank 4+, Greenshank 2, Oyster catch 3, Black Tailed Godwit 3, Grey Wagtail and Little Grebe 3.

South Huish Marsh strong on shore winds made birding difficult but 14 plus Rock Pipits, a Turnstone and a Ringed Plover on the beach and a female Kestrel overhead, 2 Dunlin on the marsh, further Pipit sp, Pied Wagtails, Greater and Lesser Black Back Gulls, Teal and Wigeon.

On the outskirts of Thurlestone in excess of 400 Wood pigeons feeding on fields of wheat stubble and a female Stonechat.

Back home at South Brent 25 Goldfinch around the feed station and a flock of 45 Starlings overhead.

Posted November 9th, 2016 at 3:52 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

.long tailed duck mature female

Northam burrows estuary 5thnov 2.15pm

Posted November 9th, 2016 at 3:15 pm by pete.tree.howells in General Birding

Velator reserve

Good numbers of Redwing in the reserve this morning, and a real surprise was putting up a Woodcock.

Out on the scrape 2 Black-tailed Godwits still, and (unusual here) a Lesser Black-backed Gull, perhaps looking at the corpse of a Canada Goose.

Posted November 9th, 2016 at 2:12 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh & Goosemoor

A juvenile Spoonbill was on the marsh when I arrived at the hide this lunchtime. It then headed over to Goosemoor where it was still there when I left at around 13.40. Also 1 Kingfisher at Goosemoor.

Posted November 9th, 2016 at 1:59 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Churston Torbay

Nice to see a small group of 8 Lapwing with Starlings and Black-headed Gulls on a ploughed field above Galmpton/Churston. Lapwing in Torbay are less than annual!

Lapwing Churston Torbay 08 Nov 2016 ML

Posted November 9th, 2016 at 10:15 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Tuesday 8th November 2016


2 swallows near halshanger rifle range. also been hundreds of fieldfares and redwings since Thursday but very few today

Posted November 8th, 2016 at 8:25 pm by P Bowden in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings or this morning,

7 Goosander 3m 4f, 3 Goldcrest, 6 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Song Thrush, 4 Fieldfare, 8 Redwing, 11 Tufted Duck, 2 Bullfinch, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Willow and 1 Marsh Tit, 1 Nuthatch.

Posted November 8th, 2016 at 7:20 pm by ROD MUDGE in General Birding

Crow point Tues.8/11/16

Saw a bird which I am sure was a shrike. Grey head,black eye stripe,black and white on wings and black on tail feathers. Chest speckled and underbelly pale colour. Has anyone else seen it ??

Posted November 8th, 2016 at 3:57 pm by Jude Runnalls in General Birding

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