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

Wednesday 21st December 2016

Otterton STW / Chiselbury Bay

Two female  Long-tailed Ducks on the sea this afternoon as well as the regular flock of 380+ Common Scoter, 3 RT Divers, 60+ Auks (mostly Guillemot, some Razorbill) and 1 GC Grebe.

Posted December 21st, 2016 at 9:03 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Broadsands, 21.12.16, c.09:00 - 13:30

Churston Head, 09:10 - 11:30: 3 Gt N Divers (09:20, Elberry Cove; 2 staying together + 1; by 11:30 2 + 1 off Shell Cove/Salltern Cove); 8 Velvet Scoter (09:40, off Shell Cove, then moving further out); 1 Eider (09:30, Mussel Beds). 1 Brent Goose (10:15, off Saltern Cove/Goodrington); 6 Lssr B-b Gulls (09:10, Broadsands Bay.

Car Park, 11:30 - 12:50: 4 Cirls (2m, 2f) 1 Chiffchaff (collybita) + Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch & Bullfinch; 1 Sparrowhawk; 1 Jay; 1 Gt Sp Woodpecker.

Churston Head, 12:50 - 13:30: 2 Gt N Divers (1 relocated Broadsands Bay moving to off the Pt, 1 relocated Shell Cove); 2 Common Scoters (1m, 1f,  flying S past the point then turning & landing far out in Torbay) 1 B-n Grebe (off Pt, then Broadsands Bay); 6 Brent Geese (flew in towards Goodrington).

Posted December 21st, 2016 at 4:02 pm by David Holloway in General Birding


Five Blackcaps simultaneously today in my back garden: three males and two females. Very little aggression so far, except sometimes from one of the males. I saw the males together and later the females about a week ago, but this is the first time I have seen all five at the same time.

Posted December 21st, 2016 at 3:04 pm by Jason Smart in General Birding

Plym Estuary/Blaxton Meadow.

Just popped down for an hour to see what was about and noted the following; On the meadow 126 Redshank, 83 Dunlin, 5 Greenshank, 5 Wigeon, 31 Curlew, 7 Oystercatcher, 2 Kingfisher & 1 Common Sandpiper. 4 Little Grebe on the estuary.

Posted December 21st, 2016 at 3:04 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Tuesday 20th December 2016

Exminster Marshes

Marsh Harrier (Female) seen on the Flyover side of the Marsh late morning

Posted December 20th, 2016 at 6:17 pm by Ian Teague in General Birding

East to West Soar

Highlight was a Merlin over the airfield. Also: 10 Gannet, 260 Skylark, 140 Linnet, 14 Yellowhammer & 12 Cirl Bunting.

Posted December 20th, 2016 at 2:35 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Monday 19th December 2016

Stover - Water Rail - Pochard - Blue Tit

At the feeder - every type of Tit, Bullfinches male & Female - Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch & plenty of Squirrels. By the hide a Female Pochard Duck and 1 water Rail showed well in front of the hide


Posted December 19th, 2016 at 7:42 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh Wigeon

Here a picture from Andy Swash of the hybrid. Any other suggestions?

Putative Eurasian X Chiloe Wigeon
Putative Eurasian X Chiloe Wigeon

Posted December 19th, 2016 at 6:49 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Topsham area

At Bowling Green Marsh today on falling tide: 10 Greylags, 2 Pintail and a putative hybrid Eurasian X Chiloe Wigeon (black barring on chest, orangey flanks and large white patch on sides of head), but no sign of American Wigeon.

Impressive wader numbers were visible from the Clyst viewpoint and the Goat Walk, including 780 Golden Plover roosting on mud towards Turf (possibly the most I've ever seen on the Exe and surely the most for some years). There were also over 500 Lapwings, c25 Knot and perhaps 500 Avocets and 1000 Black-tailed Godwits, with good numbers of Redshanks and a Greenshank. A Water Rail was along the reed fringe across the estuary.

A Cetti's Warbler gave good views by the viewing platform and 2 Redwings in one of the seeded fields near the Goat Walk included an obvious very dark, heavily-streaked Icelandic bird (coburni). A Spotted Redshank called near Goosemoor, where there was a Greenshank and another Water Rail.

Posted December 19th, 2016 at 6:43 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Great Northen Diver Teignmouth

Great Northen Diver just off the pier on Sunday afternoon. Diving over the bar until chased off by jet skis.

Unidentified scoters further out in the mist.

Posted December 19th, 2016 at 7:56 am by Patrick case in General Birding

Sunday 18th December 2016

Torbay boat trip

A few photos from this morning's boat trip. Notable mainly for the 6 velvet scoter off Broadsands-Goodrington, and common gulls seen in several places.

1st winter Great Northern Diver in the fog. 5 of the Velvet Scoters Common Gull north of Berry Head
1st winter Great Northern Diver in the fog.        5 of the Velvet Scoters                 Common Gull north of Berry Head

Posted December 18th, 2016 at 4:22 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Torbay Boat Trip

Just adding to Simon's report the large numbers of Guillemots on the cliffs of the colony at Berry Head, 800+. 5 Common Gull and 20 + Fulmar in Torbay. very atmospheric with the mist in the bay but a good trip. 

Next trip Sunday 8th Jan 2017. if interested call 07866202576.

Posted December 18th, 2016 at 3:32 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Weare Giffard

2 Cattle Egret early afternoon in field by entrance to Barton Farm

Posted December 18th, 2016 at 3:20 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Torbay boat trip

Had a great trip out with Nigel around Torbay, saw some great birds the best being 6 Velvet Scoters and 6 Great Northern Divers, 11 Dark-Bellied Brent Geese, 1 Eider and 8 sightings of Harbour Porpoise that came close to the boat.

Great Northern Diver  Velvet Scoter
Great Northern Diver                                                                           Velvet Scoter

Posted December 18th, 2016 at 3:19 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

Velator and Wrafton

On Wrafton Pond this morning a male Pochard and a pair of Gadwall.

In the reserve, a Kingfisher flew around the pond and landed briefly on a reed stem. 2 Water Rails (one seen) Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and the usual FInches and Tits. Outside the reserve a pair of Stonechats and a few more Meadow Pipits today and with them, a Water Pipit.

On the  scrape both Redshank and Black-tailed Godwit.

Posted December 18th, 2016 at 1:37 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Barnacle Geese Exminster Marshes

This is a correction to an old post.  On 24 November 2016 I posted that 24 Barnacle Geese landed on Exminster Marshes.  I am at last checking and processing all my photos from that 'flood week' on Exminster and I can now see it was actually 25.  I will submit this on the Devon Record Sheet to correct.

25 Barnacle Geese 24.11.16 Exminster Marshes
25 Barnacle Geese 24.11.16 Exminster Marshes

Posted December 18th, 2016 at 11:51 am by Jo King in General Birding

Occombe Farm

Early morning walk around Occombe proved quite fruitful. Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Green Woodpecker, 3 Goldcrest, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, a Chiffchaff, several Wren, 5 Robins, good numbers of Blue Tit & Great Tit. Jackdaws, Rooks & Carrion Crow all feeding in one field, a Song Thrush and a Jay.

Posted December 18th, 2016 at 10:49 am by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Saturday 17th December 2016

Mansands Scoters

Mansands ~ Crabrock point gave a distant view of initially 160 Scoter duck, brief view of the Surf and one Velvet a further 22 flew in giving a total of 182 birds, a Guillemot close to the flock and 2 two Fulmar,

22 Meadow Pipit by the cottages, 4 Stonechat and 2 Pied Wagtails.


A Kestrel perched alongside the track near the car park, duck on the marsh included Mallard, Teal and Gadwall, four Moorhen.

And a very unseasonal sighting of a Red Admiral butterfly.

Posted December 17th, 2016 at 8:31 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

On the pool at high tide this morning - c95 Redshanks, 6 Dunlins, 29+ Curlews, 18 Shelducks & 5 Wigeon. Nearby, 2 Ring-necked Parakeets (1 blue morph) and at least one heard in a different part of the park. Also Snipe, 5 Goldcrests and Nuthatch. 

Posted December 17th, 2016 at 2:52 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Yellow Browed Warblers, Beaumont Park, Plymouth

2 very active and mobile YBWarblers in Beaumont Park this morning. 1 keeping mostly to the tree tops in the trees near the north gate entrance, 1 mostly in the tree tops in the trees in the centre of the park, but both occasionally moving down to the lower branches. Vocal at times and at one point seen chasing each other and calling noisily.

I did manage to get a rubbish record shot of 1 of them.

Also seen:- a female type black redstart, a jay (a first for the park for me), a coal tit, 4+goldcrest, goldfinch, a nuthatch and B,G and LTTits.

Yellow Browed Warbler
Yellow Browed Warbler

Posted December 17th, 2016 at 12:54 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Friday 16th December 2016


Noting mention of singing Song Thrushes, one has been singing here in a neighbour's garden for about a week now. 

Posted December 16th, 2016 at 10:33 pm by Jason Smart in General Birding


Ringing in  the reserve this morning was slow going, but rewarded with one retrap and 2 new Chiffchaffs.

When I returned home I was moving some firewood when the beautiful sound of a singing Song Thrush put a spring in my stride!

Posted December 16th, 2016 at 3:44 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Teigngrace cattle egrets

All seven birds present today in solar panel field

Posted December 16th, 2016 at 2:41 pm by Ken Dainton in General Birding

Dunsdon DWT

A quick look in a Dunsdon feeders, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Great / 4 Blue / 3 Coal Tit, 1 Buzzard, 6 Fieldfare, 1 Willow and 2 Marsh Tit, 2 Robin.

Posted December 16th, 2016 at 2:30 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings for this morning, 35 Goosander 17m 18f, 23 Tufted Duck, 28 Mallard, 14 Coot, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Mute Swan, 1 Willow and 1 Marsh Tit, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Goldcrest,

Posted December 16th, 2016 at 2:27 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Thursday 15th December 2016

pied wagtail roost

 Was in town tonight in Exeter & noticed a huge winter roost of pied wagtails, maybe over 500 +  in 4 trees alongside Next in the High St 

Posted December 15th, 2016 at 9:25 pm by Martin Cox in General Birding

Otterton STW / Chiselbury Bay & Budleigh

The Common Scoter flock at Chiselbury Bay was the largest I have seen with 380+ birds this morning.
Also 1 RT Diver , but sadly no Velvet or rarer Scoters though. A check of the River Otter Egret roost this evening resulted in 17 Little Egrets, but no Cattle Egrets - Keep trying!

Posted December 15th, 2016 at 6:43 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Fremington Pill

Quick visit this pm 106 black tailed godwits,47redshank and one greenshank,no sign of the ibis.

Posted December 15th, 2016 at 6:23 pm by Geoff Taylor in General Birding

Exmouth – Black Redstart

At 10:00 this morning sighting of a female Black Redstart around Shelley apartments in Exmouth

Posted December 15th, 2016 at 1:53 pm by Tom Jurd in General Birding

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