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

Sunday 7th February 2016

Haldon & Newton Abbot

At least five Bramblings present under the feeders opposite the bike hire at Haldon Forest Park this morning.

The male Scaup was back on Decoy Lake, Newton Abbot this afternoon.

Posted February 7th, 2016 at 6:01 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

Glossy Ibis - Wrafton

Glossy Ibis still present at 4.45 this afternoon. Very close to trail, in clear view, but far too wet for my camera!

Posted February 7th, 2016 at 5:06 pm by Kelvin Irwin in General Birding

Beeslands and Slapton

A single female Common Scoter close to shore at Beesands and 50-60 Mute Swans on the ley but little else. At Slapton a male Red Crested Pochard by the tank. Further out 3 Black Necked Grebes and a single Red Necked grebe.

Posted February 7th, 2016 at 5:06 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding

South Brent ~ Barn owl

First time that I can recall local birding at and around South Brent being more productive than a trip around Torbay.

A brilliant start to the Brent birding day with views of a Barn owl just outside the village just after 7.30am, the Barn owl being the first true "wild" one I have seen here in over 20 years, so a real bonus.

Two male Blackcaps in a friends garden, at least five Siskin around my garden feeders. A male Reed Bunting just outside the village and another in a village garden, a male Sparrow Hawk making two passes at the birds using my feeding station finished off the day.

Broadsands gave five Goldcrest a soaring Buzzard and two Great Northern Divers well out in the bay.

The coastal area off  Roundham Head gave Turnstone, Greater Black Backed Gulls, four Great Crested Grebe, two Fulmar came into view followed by a Heron within moments the Fulmars multiplied to five and very meaningfully drove the Heron away for the area.

Posted February 7th, 2016 at 5:04 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Glossy Ibis - Wrafton

The Glossy Ibis at Wrafton attracted a lot of attention this morning from several serious bird photographers with some all 'singing & dancing' equipment.

I promised Sue Bruce who first spotted the bird as it flew into the scrape at Wrafton a few days ago that I would do my best to obtain a decent quality photo for her diary, weather permitting.

Most of my pics turned out to be absolute rubbish but one, a difficult shot taken through the brambles & branches exceeded all my expectations, in fact it was the best photo I have ever taken through a telescope.

Please do not ask me how many many hundreds of pics I had to take to get this one but I did manage to discharge 3 batteries in the process!

Posted February 7th, 2016 at 4:41 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Torbay Boat trip

Spent yesterday looking at weather maps watching fronts and decided to run today and had a good trip with a Red-necked Grebe out from the Broadsands/Saltern Cove area. 12 Great Crested Grebe, 6 Great Northern Diver, 17+ Fulmar, 20+ Cormorants in the 7 Quarries area, Brixham, 4 Purple Sandpiper at Brixham Breakwater, Gannets and 30+ Guillemots on the water off Berry Head. 1 Harbour Porpoise and 5 Grey Seals in the Brixham area. Glad we went, finding a window in the weather. Wind increased as we returned to Paignton Harbour.  

Posted February 7th, 2016 at 3:47 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Wrafton - Glossy Ibis

Another picture from today

Posted February 7th, 2016 at 1:54 pm by Tim Kevan in General Birding

Cranbrook, Nr Exeter

Having not recently posted anything from this new town I took a walk around the Country Park this AM.  Starting at the Education Campus I quickly listed 21 species, the best being a Green Sandpiper which flew off west.   A lake opposite the Campus has been created and with the weekend rain is now 300m long and contained 25 Mallard. C. 25 Linnet also present here plus a Goldcrest in the Alders. 

Then moved on to the new Cranbrook Railway Stn where parking is best to visit 'The Scrape'.  Sadly this area has now become overgrown with Bullrushes and other vegitation so hardly any water is visible.  What birds are there are usually hidden unless disturbed but I have had Jack Snipe here in recent weeks.  I finally ended up at Clyst Honiton where I parked near the end of the airport runway.  Another lake has been created here and a pair of Stonechat were on the fencing with Buzzard over. 

An interesting area to follow and to determine how birds are using a developing urban area.

Posted February 7th, 2016 at 12:46 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Bolt Tail Woods, Hope Cove

Firecrest in scrub with Goldcrest & Coal Tit.

Posted February 7th, 2016 at 12:38 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Wrafton Glossy Ibis

Showing really well this morning as JonTurner requested here is one photo

Posted February 7th, 2016 at 12:22 pm by Robert Cudmore in General Birding

Glossy Ibis - Wrafton

Was still present this morning close to the Tarka Trail, in good sunlight, which attracted a few big cameras! I hope one of the photographers posts a pic here soon! Also present a Green Sandpiper.

Posted February 7th, 2016 at 12:06 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Cattewater & Plym Est 6th Feb

One Great Northern Diver Adult in Cattewater, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers (2 male, 2 female) lower Plym. Very distant views of what was probably the Black-necked Grebe but only had bins, so too far to be sure. 

Posted February 7th, 2016 at 6:38 am by Steve Cox in General Birding

Saturday 6th February 2016


A wander around Topsham in the rain. 2 Goldeneye still at Topsham rec. Good numbes of waders feeding on Bowling Green Marsh including 178 Bar-tailed godwit, 23 Grey plover and 2 Greenshank. Counted 28 Pintail, 8 Pochard and 4 Tufted ducks.

Posted February 6th, 2016 at 7:22 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding


57 Mandarin Ducks (43 males/23 females) on meadow floods immediately upstream of Dart Bridge between Buckfastleigh and Buckfast, early pm.

Posted February 6th, 2016 at 2:04 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

 Getting to and from Tamar Lake today wit the weather was at times a bit tricky, so I didn't stay too long.

There were 26 Goosander 14m 12f, 24 Tufted Duck, 2 Cormorants, 7 L.T.Tits, 2 Mallard. The car park feeders were put out today after a two week absence and the usual suspects started to appear.

Posted February 6th, 2016 at 1:14 pm by ROD MUDGE in General Birding

Wrafton Glossy Ibis

9am still present, weather to say the least not good and 6 spoonbills present

Posted February 6th, 2016 at 11:56 am by Robert Cudmore in General Birding

Friday 5th February 2016

Seaton Marshes

Male green winged teal feeding at the back of of the pool at 4.15 this afternoon, but no sign of the glossy ibis.

Posted February 5th, 2016 at 6:28 pm by Ray Hamilton in General Birding

Glossy Ibis - Wrafton Pond

The light was a fraction better early aft, so managed a few more digiscoped pics.

The Ibis was spooked by Gulls several times & on one occasion we thought that we might have lost it from the Marshes but it circled around & landed back on the edge of the scrape showing well for Margaret Phillips.

Posted February 5th, 2016 at 3:52 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

1000 - 1300

From the hide: 24 Lapwing, 23 Shoveler, 7 Pochard, 5 Pintail, 2 Snipe, 1 Little grebe, 3 Greylag geese, and good numbers of grazing Teal and Wigeon. 3 Reed bunting on the feeders.

From the viewing platform: 2 Greenshank, 3 Grey plover, 3 Shelduck.

Plenty of Avocet, Dunlin and Black tailed Godwit on the estuary mud, together with several Brent geese a long way out. 4 Red breasted merganser on the Exe, as the wind began to pick up and the rain came in.

Posted February 5th, 2016 at 3:44 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding


The Red-necked Grebe was still present today off Elberry Headland looking toward Hope's Nose, also 3 Great Northern Divers, 1 Great Crested Grebe.

Around the car parks 6 Cirl Buntings, 1 Siskin, 2 Firecrest and 2 Goldcrest. 

Posted February 5th, 2016 at 3:38 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Ilfracombe - 5th February

Mainly dry walk along the town's Coastal Path this morning - several pairs of Fulmars along the cliffs on the Tors & at least 3 Purple Sandpipers on the rocks off the Capstone. Also spotted a least 2 Harbour Porpoises possibly feeding about 100yrds off the Capstone due to the large numbe of gulls around & above them. Solitary Shag opposite the harbour on the rocks.


Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper


Posted February 5th, 2016 at 3:10 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Glossy Ibis - Wrafton

After several attempts at digiscoping this bird in poor light managed to get a couple worth posting on the blog!

Posted February 5th, 2016 at 12:28 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Aveton Gifford

Barn owl on post by road bridge.

Posted February 5th, 2016 at 11:16 am by Keith millham in General Birding

Newton Creek Noss Mayo

Rising tide in creek. Greenshank, 3 Redshank, Oyster Catcher.

On feeder in garden Marsh tit.

Posted February 5th, 2016 at 11:08 am by Jeremy Spooner in General Birding

Glossy Ibis

Still present this morning by the Tarka Trail at Wrafton. Rob will post photos later!

Posted February 5th, 2016 at 9:55 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Thursday 4th February 2016

Filleigh North Devon

Today's trip to see Somerset birds started off well with a Red Kite being harassed by a crow over the village of Filleigh just before 9 am.

Posted February 4th, 2016 at 6:32 pm by Andy Lansdell in General Birding

Brixham Harbour & Broadsands

Brixham: 11 Purple Sandpipers on the disused jetty and a further 2 feeding on the sea side of the breakwater.

Broadsands: 3 Great Northern Divers, one close to shore seen catching a small flatfish. A Firecrest was in the main fee-paying car park by the stream. Three Goldcrests in the corner of the far car park. Two Cirl Buntings.

Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper



Posted February 4th, 2016 at 2:52 pm by david cawthraw in General Birding

Velator update

Just had a phone call from Sue Bruce, who tells me a Glossy Ibis is on the scrape by the Tarka Trail.


I'm on my way....

Posted February 4th, 2016 at 2:27 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


I was away last week, but before I left there was a dead sheep in the field outside the reserve. It attracted the attentions of the local Corvids and GBB Gulls. Today, there's not much left of the carcass, but there were 4 Ravens IN the reserve waiting their turn.

Posted February 4th, 2016 at 1:36 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

South Molton just above the A361 Link Road

Red Kite, quite low above A361 just past Aller Cross roundabout toward Barnstaple at 0830 February 3.

Posted February 4th, 2016 at 9:29 am by Phil Plant in General Birding

Wednesday 3rd February 2016

Haldon and Exminster Marsh

Haldon Forest Park while closed the general public due to the potential danger from high winds the staff did let a few birders onto the park which allowed views of two male Bramblings that were frequenting the feed station in front of the Rangers office. Good numbers of both Chaffinch and Siskin. Other species included two Song Thrush, one Redwing, Greenfinch, Nuthatch, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, two Pied Wagtails, Blue, Great and Coal Tit, on leaving a Raven overhead.

Exminster Marsh gave a Peregrine Falcon that was causing a stir amongst the waders and waterfowl, a flock of Golden Plover, lots of Lapwing, Canadian Geese beyond counting, a count of 96 Rook in one field, plenty of  Redshank, Dunlin, largeflocks of Brent Geese. Three Heron, several Little Egrets, female Reed Bunting, three Stonechat, duck species included Wigeon still in very large numbers, Shoveller, Pintail, Tufted, Teal, Shellduck and lots of birders hoping for the Short Eared Owl that again in the time that I was there remained out of sight.

Posted February 3rd, 2016 at 8:52 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Top of estuary Puslinch. River Yealm

Tide starting to fall strong wind up the estuary.

24 Wigeon 47 Curlew, 6 Oyster catcher, Redshank, Greenshank, 3 Egret.

Posted February 3rd, 2016 at 3:31 pm by Jeremy Spooner in General Birding

Tuesday 2nd February 2016

Saltram Plymouth

Walked from hide to bridge five Red -Breasted Mergansers,three Med Gulls in with roosting flock of Black headed gulls,three Little grebes,and one Black-necked grebe close to bridge allso prescent two Great crested grebes.

Posted February 2nd, 2016 at 10:43 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding


A feisty male Blackcap with face covered in yellow pollen continually chased off the Blue Tits from the Camellia flowers today. The Firecrest still present in the garden.

Posted February 2nd, 2016 at 9:45 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

short eared owl- exminster marsh

despite the wind,the short eared owl showed ,quartering mostly distant at exminster marsh

Posted February 2nd, 2016 at 8:38 pm by gray clements in General Birding

Spotted Redshank ~ Starcross

The previously observed and reported Spotted Redshank is still frequenting the flooded field adjacent to the EA Veterinary Investigation Centre, opposite the entrance to Starcross and the exit from the coastal lane from Powderham , the bird tends to favour the far side of the field from the road

Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve, the walk out to the hide gave Little Grebe, and a Gadwall on one of the ponds. The Hide area gave 6 Turnstone, Brent Geese, 5 Pipit sp, Shellduck, Oyster Catcher, Grey Plover, Red Breasted Merganser 7 +, Curlew, Greater Black Backed Gull and 5 Lesser Black Backs, Cormorant, Redshank, Little Egret and a very mobile flock of 30 plus Dunlin.

From the car park of the Passage House Inn, Kingsteignton, 23 Lapwing, 5 Little Egret, Curlew, redshank, Greater Back Gull.

The morning had given some good birding around the home feeders and fields surrounding the house with a total of 30 species which included 3 Mistle Thrush, 4 Song Thrush, 2 Redwing, 5 Meadow Pipits the first ones seen here since the beginning of December,6 Pied Wagtails, 3 Siskin, 42 Chaffinch, 3 Buzzard, 1 Lesser Black Backed Gull, 36 Herring Gull, Jay, 2 Raven, Goldcrest. On arriving home my wife Jacqui told me she had been disturbed by a commotion in one of our roadside hedges and found a first year female Sparrow Hawk scrabbling with a Blackbird that managed to get free and escape which took the home total to a very presentable 31species.

Posted February 2nd, 2016 at 5:30 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


Male Pochard on Wrafton pond along with 9 Shoveler. Male Shelduck on the flooded field. A large number of Collared Dove in trees by pond (30+). Is this number unusual?

Posted February 2nd, 2016 at 5:19 pm by Kelvin Irwin in General Birding

River Erme Holbeton.

20 Wigeon, 15 Curlew, Oyster Catcher, 2 Jay and Raven

Posted February 2nd, 2016 at 3:40 pm by Jeremy Spooner in General Birding

Haldon Forest

Three Bramblings, 2 males and a female, in among the Chaffinch flock by the forest's Visitors Centre; coming to ground often and feeding on sunflowers seeds from the feeders. c30 Siskins also around the centre / feeders.


Posted February 2nd, 2016 at 1:27 pm by david cawthraw in General Birding


First peacock butterfly of the year in Rattery.

Posted February 2nd, 2016 at 12:57 pm by Ian Samuel in General Birding


Chiffchaff feeding in my garden at midday yesterday - it's a very blustery, coastal garden just inland from Northam Burrows - first one I've seen in the garden since the very cold spring we had a few years ago.

Posted February 2nd, 2016 at 8:44 am by Ruth Wiseman in General Birding

Monday 1st February 2016


50+ Redwings along with a few Mistle Thrush at High Bullen Golf Course on the fairway at the entrance at 1000 am today, all had moved on when I returned at 1230pm.

Posted February 1st, 2016 at 5:31 pm by Philip Plant in General Birding


The Spotted Redshank was again in the field adjacent to the Veterinary Investigation Centre with 10 Greenshanks and c50 Redshanks.

Posted February 1st, 2016 at 2:49 pm by david cawthraw in General Birding

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