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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

River Exe between Powderham and Cockwood

This afternoon, a flock of approx 150 Brent Geese plus 13 Oystercatcher in a field at Powderham, a pair of Red-breasted Merganser, 15 Redshank, 7 Oystercatcher, 1 Turnstone , 3 Curlew  where the Kenn joins the Exe, a male Red -breasted Merganser and a Little Grebe feeding by the ferry pontoon at Starcross and a pair of Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Slavonian Grebes off Cockwood

Posted December 14th, 2016 at 8:58 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding


Between 10:50 and 11:30 - 6 Cattle Egret and 1 Little Egret in the usual field with the cattle.

Cattle Egret Little Egret and Cattle Egret Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret                                                   Little Egret and Cattle Egret                       Cattle Egret

Posted December 14th, 2016 at 8:03 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding


In amongst a gathering of Black-headed Gulls on the scrape this morning was one with a full black head. Bring on spring!

Posted December 14th, 2016 at 7:22 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

American wigeon on the marsh this afternoon amongst an ever-growing flock of wigeon. It showed well right in front of the hide at times :)

Posted December 14th, 2016 at 5:56 pm by Helen Whitall in General Birding

Newton Abbot

Around Town Quay Newton Abbot today. two distant Kingfisher sightings, Heron, two Grey Wagtails, juvenile Moorhen, fifty plus Black Headed Gull, Raven, three Cormorant.


Six Geese of various types two appeared to be Grey Lags (as image) one Canadian and three feral types two Chinese and one domestic type goose that also frequents decoy lake.

Around the feeders at home two male Siskin this morning, seven Long tailed Tits late afternoon and two possibly three Song Thrush on the back lawn of Willow House next door.

Posted December 14th, 2016 at 5:23 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

East Soar-Soar Mill Valley-Southdown Farm

Not too exciting: Fulmar off Ham Stone, 4 Snipe, 13 Stock Dove, 380 Skylark, 6 Chiffchaff Collybita in Soar Mill Valley Willows & 5 Yellowhammer.

Posted December 14th, 2016 at 4:03 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Eider - Hopes Nose, Torquay

4 Eider ( 2 Male 2 Female ) on the sheltered side of Hopes Nose. 11.30 this morning.

Posted December 14th, 2016 at 1:03 pm by Cliff Parrott in General Birding

Tuesday 13th December 2016


One Yellow-browed Warbler in the centre of Beaumont Park first thing this morning with Long-tailed Tits and two Goldcrests.  

Posted December 13th, 2016 at 9:43 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Westward Ho!

4 Purple Sandpiper today on incoming tide on rocks around Nassau Court

Posted December 13th, 2016 at 9:31 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Torbay Coastal

A coast watch from Elberry Cove back to Goodrington beach this morning, Broadsands gave a Red Necked Grebe, two Fulmar, fourteen Greater Black Backed Gulls one of which had a metal tag ring on its right leg, three Gannet and a Heron.

Elberry Cove produced an Eider duck around the Mussel farm and a Great Northern Diver.


Around the Broadsands car parks, a flock of twenty four Green finch and several other individual birds, three Wren, three Goldcrest, five Cirl Bunting, four Bullfinch.

Oyster Bends gave ten Brent Geese feeding in the right hand cove and a hunting female Sparrow hawk

Goodrington beach a female Eider duck preening alongside two Greater Black Backs and on the boating lake at Young’s park ten Tufted Duck.

On returning home went out to collect a sick female Kestrel that had been picked up at Ashburton.

Posted December 13th, 2016 at 4:40 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


The male Marsh Harrier showed much closer from the south side of the reserve this morning. It seemed to have a very full crop, and landed in a tree in the marsh.

Posted December 13th, 2016 at 1:50 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Teigngrace cattle egrets

5 birds present this morning in Twelve Oaks solar panel field but as they regularly commute between Blatchford farm pasture the familiar 7 may well be around

Posted December 13th, 2016 at 12:39 pm by Ken Dainton in General Birding

Monday 12th December 2016

South Brent

A home birding day at South Brent gave a male Siskin on the feeders, Wren, Raven and Buzzard seen from the house, a walk around the boundary hedges gave a very confiding Chiffchaff, seven Goldcrest sightings, a 50 plus flock of Redwings which on landing was seen to contain 3 Song Thrush.
Green Woodpecker calling and the first Woodcock that I have seen in some time was a bonus.
Long Tailed Tits and a female Bullfinch, numerous small flocks of Starling, Tawny owls calling again this evening.

Posted December 12th, 2016 at 9:09 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Escot Park, East Devon

12 members of DB attended the morning walk and 20 later sat down to a Christmas lunch.  The parklands produced a count of 34 species (thanks to Sue Murphy for keeping the list).  The banks of the River Tale produced sightings of a Dipper and Chiffchaff.  Winter Thrushes (mainly Redwing with a few Fieldfare) were more difficult to locate as most were feeding on the ground and had vacated the usual hot spots in the Millennium Orchard.  A Mistle Thrush and singing Song Thrush completed the Thrush list with numbers of Blackbird ever present.

Next East Devon Branch fieldtrip will meet at Darts Farm on Jan 6.  (See details of Programme on DB website under 'News'). Happy Christmas to all members.

Posted December 12th, 2016 at 6:06 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding


During the morning visit I saw at least 4 Chiffchaffs, but very quick moving so unable to see if they were ringed. (one ringed yesterday). Also present 2 calling Cetti's Warblers, and 2 Water Rails - one heard, one seen.

Later this afternoon, I returned and had good if slightly distant views of a male Marsh Harrier quartering the reed-bed at Sherpa Marsh.

Surprised to see both the Redshank and the Black-tailed Godwit back on the scrape this morning. After all the shooting last Friday, I thought they'd never return.

Posted December 12th, 2016 at 4:23 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Sunday 11th December 2016

Cirl Buntings

Had a great session with the Cirl Buntings at Labrador Bay today, I counted 32 but there was more, they were flying to and fro from the farmers field on the other side of the road to the hedges on the reserve, couple of males in full song on top of the trees, such a great bird!

Posted December 11th, 2016 at 6:45 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

This afternoon's WeBS count included a Jack Snipe in the saltmarsh, 2 Slavonian Grebes and 5 Greenshanks, plus 5 Cirl Buntings. Offshore, 1 Red-throated Diver, 18 G C Grebes, 2 Velvet Scoters and 60+ Common Scoters.

At dusk, 3 Woodcock leaving Haldon at Beggar's Bush, heading towards Chudleigh - a regular occurrence in winter around 4:50-5pm.

Posted December 11th, 2016 at 5:56 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Otterton STW / Chiselbury Bay

The Common Scoter flock still present, but no sign of the Velvet Scoter in recent days.
Also 2 RT Diver and 1 GN Diver plus 6+ Guillemot.

Posted December 11th, 2016 at 5:21 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Broadsands: 08:30 - 12:15, 11.12.16

From Churston Pt, c. 08:45 - 09:30: 1 Eider (mussel beds); 3 Black-necked Grebes; 1 Slav Grebe (off the Point); 8 Velvet Scoter + 11 Brent Geese (all together off Saltern Cove); 1 more Brent Goose (in Broadsands Bay).

Around Broadsands Car Park c. 09:45 - 12:00: the Siberian Chiffchaff was in the marshy area adjacent to car park c. 10:00 - 10:30. At c.11:00 it came in over my head and landed in front of me, in the hedge, behind the beach huts, back of the 2nd car park, where the Cirl Buntings usually are. There it remaIned, calling and feeding until I left it at c.12:00.

At least 4 Cirls (2m, 2f) and 1 Reed Bunting, same spot.

Posted December 11th, 2016 at 3:10 pm by David Holloway in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Geese Quarries- Charleton Marsh, 10:15-13:45, rising tide ). Stunning winters day to be out.

15 Brent Geese, 55 Pintail, 16 Red-breasted Merganser, Long-tailed Duck ( prob 1cy m off Charleton Pt., ), 12 Great Crested Grebes, 7 Little Grebes, Slavonian Grebe ( off Charleton Pt. ), 2 Water Rails ( marsh ) and a Green Sandpiper ( Charleton Marsh, can't remember seeing one here in the winter before ).


Posted December 11th, 2016 at 2:23 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding


Two willow tits coming to feeders at my feeding station melbury forest..All six species of tit now visited.Just waiting for an Azure to turn up now!!!!!.Also pair of mistle thruses near by,f g s woodpecker and possible 2 continental blackbirds,adult males with all black bills and orbital rings.

Posted December 11th, 2016 at 11:49 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Saturday 10th December 2016

West Charleton Marsh and Wareham Point

Early pm, high tide, of note: 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Slavonian Grebes, 6 Great-crested Grebes, 6 Red-breasted Mergansers, 1 Whimbrel, 20 Snipe, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and c500 Dunlin. Plus at least 2 Chiffchaffs at the Sewage works.

Posted December 10th, 2016 at 6:39 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding


am of note: 3 Velvet Scoter, 12 Common Scoter and 1 Red-throated Diver offshore at Strete Gate; 1m Greater Scaup and 1 imm/f Long-tailed Duck on the ley; 1 Firecrest and a Chiffchaff in the woods along the Ireland Bay trail. 

Posted December 10th, 2016 at 6:35 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding


Wet, today! But still a Spoonbill roosting by the Tarka Trail when I arrived. It flew off at about 10.30. There have been a couple of Gadwall in the reserve these last few mornings. They were joined by a Wigeon yesterday.

Posted December 10th, 2016 at 5:25 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Hembury Woods

Late post for Friday 9th: 3 Woodcock and a Tawny Owl, late pm/dusk.

Posted December 10th, 2016 at 8:01 am by Andy Smith in General Birding

Friday 9th December 2016

Bowling Green Marsh

Estimated 450 - 500 Avocets on the lunchtime high tide at BGM, disturbed by the local Buzzard. Probably more than twice that many Godwits with about 30 Bar-tailed.  4 of the 5 recent Snipe were playing hard to get in the farthest channel from the hide. 

Posted December 9th, 2016 at 10:23 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding


Good to bump into Perry at Slapton today. In addition to his sightings, a Red necked Grebe showed briefly off the Memorial car park around 11 a.m. 

A Black Redstart (f) at Hallsands and 42 Common Scoter offshore.

Mid afternoon the Red throated Diver had drifted north to be off Strete gate and at the far end of Strete gate beach were 2 Velvet Scoter.

In addition to those settled on the sea, Guillemots (with a few Razorbills) were moving through the bay all day and must have numbered a few hundred.


Posted December 9th, 2016 at 6:31 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Tottiford Reservoir

23 Goosander ( 6M) and 8 Tufted Duck ( 3M) the highlights of a walk round the reservoir

Some of the Goosander - Tottiford - 9/12/2016
Some of the Goosander - Tottiford - 9/12/2016

Posted December 9th, 2016 at 5:02 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Slapton and Beesands

Reasonable numbers of Waterfowl on the ley, vast majority in Ireland Bay. Selected counts included 9 Little Grebes, 3 Teals, 113 Gadwalls, 8 Shovelers, 26 Wigeons, 89 Tufted Ducks and 415 Coots. Also large nos. of Gulls but the best I could find was just an adult Med Gull. 2 Chiffchaffs seen were both collybita, one ringed. In Start Bay Black-necked Grebe just offshore from the central car park, also Red-throated Diver. Way out 50 Common Scoters flew north and good numbers of Guillemots present ( and a few Razorbills ).

Beesands ley extremely quiet just 40 Mute Swans, 5 Canada Geese and 3 Mallard. Well offshore a feeding congregation of at least 500 Gannets.

Where are the Pochard this winter ? none seen today.

Posted December 9th, 2016 at 3:12 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Hartland Point & Shipload Bay.

3 - 4 Red-throated  Divers, 5+ Kittiwakes, 7 Fulmars, 30+ Gannets, Black headed and Herring Gulls, 2 Great Black Backed Gulls, 1 ring tail Hen Harrier quartering the fields and hedges at Shipload Bay putting up large numbers of Meadow Pipits.

Harvey Kendall & Barry Bryne.

Posted December 9th, 2016 at 3:11 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Northam Burrows

Two Snow Buntings still present early pm, feeding unobtrusively some 100m west of the 8th green. In the estuary 19 Eider, and off Greysands Point a Red-throated Diver.

Good numbers of Geese, ducks and waders off the Skern, but as far as I could see, nothing unexpected.

Posted December 9th, 2016 at 3:04 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Cattle Egrets- Teigngrace

Flock of 7 Cattle Egrets still 1.35pm in grass field opposite entrance to Twelve Oaks Farm

Posted December 9th, 2016 at 2:06 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Cattle Egrets, teigngrace

12.00 noon. 7 cattle egrets in cow field opp Twelve Oaks Herd farm

Posted December 9th, 2016 at 12:00 pm by Steph murphy in General Birding

Cattle egrets Teigngrace

4 birds present @ 11am in field with charolais cattle at Twelve Oaks farm to north of Teigngrace road. View over hedge from road.

Posted December 9th, 2016 at 11:09 am by Kenvin Dainton in General Birding

Thursday 8th December 2016

Bowling Green/Goosemoor Topsham

200 Avocets at BGM on the high tide roost at lunch time with at least twice as many Black-tailed Godwits. Including this colour-ringed bird.

At Goosemoor a Spotted Redshank, Water Rail and a colour-ringed Curlew (no pic) were the highlights..

Posted December 8th, 2016 at 10:42 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding


At least 100 Fieldfares flying around village this morning.

Posted December 8th, 2016 at 4:53 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

A short visit mid afternoon proved quite exciting; at one point the imm marsh harrier, a peregrine and raven were inter-acting over something that I could not see. A flock of 14 barnacle geese near Station Road probably included one or two of the locally resident birds. Two flocks of brent geese were nearer the Turf and totalled about 800 birds. There is still an impressive number of wigeon (over 2,000) but relatively few teal, shoveller and mallard. Apart from the hundreds of Canada geese the only other bird in large numbers was the 200+ flock of lapwing. I saw two chiffchaff in the lane and heard two more on the canal bank.

Posted December 8th, 2016 at 4:21 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

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