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

Tuesday 21st June 2016

Otter at Tipton

On walk north from Tipton good sight of female Goosander and 7 fledglings. Two Dippers flew by plus small number of Sand Martin along with House Martins and Swallows. 

Posted June 21st, 2016 at 7:07 pm by Geoff Green in General Birding

Codden Hill

Descending Codden Hill late this afternoon in my van watched 20+ House Martins seeing off a female Sparrowhawk which was having to hedgehop due to the onslaught.

Posted June 21st, 2016 at 5:53 pm by Robert Morgan in General Birding

Sherpa Marshes

A report of a Cuckoo heard calling from this area this morning.

Posted June 21st, 2016 at 11:55 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Monday 20th June 2016

Braunton. N.Devon

This morning my weather station recorded 39mm of rain over a 24 period.

Posted June 20th, 2016 at 10:26 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the evening high-tide.

5-Mediterranean Gulls (adult + 4 fs), Common Gull, c1000 Black-headed Gulls, Great Black-backed Gull, 50-Redshank, 12-Bar-tailed Godwits, 20-Black-tailed Godwits, 51-Curlew, 10-Whimbrel, Oystercatcher, 5-Wigeon, 7-Teal, 4-Little Egrets, c30-Shelduck, Stock Dove, c30-House Martins, c10-Sand Martins and 5-Swallows.

Posted June 20th, 2016 at 9:50 pm by David Boult in General Birding


I left some empty buckets outside my back door last night and was surprised how much was in them this morning....

I was even more surprised to see the scrape by the Tarka Trail adjacent to Wrafton Pond was full once more. That usually takes a few weeks in the autumn.  Roll on a few Waders!

In the reserve, there are only two of the four juv Little Grebes left from a couple of days ago. One of them is much bigger than t'other. Hope he didn't eat his siblings.

Posted June 20th, 2016 at 4:40 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Sunday 19th June 2016

Wrafton Pond

The Coots are now feeding a second brood with one pair with 6 juv's & the other with 5. I wonder how many will survive to adulthood?

2 pairs of Little Grebes are now feeding a second brood, 2 juv's each.

Some of the first brood have survived, see photo.


Posted June 19th, 2016 at 10:32 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Saturday 18th June 2016


Afternoon walk from Warren House to just above Soussons Plantation. 2 buzzards, 2 cuckoos, green woodpecker, 3+ pairs whinchats, 3 stonechats, wheatear, pair linnets, reed bunting, skylark (heard), chaffinch, wren, blackbirds (never used to be here, a factor in the demise of the ring ouzels?) & abundant willow warblers and meadow pipits. A roe deer & faun was among the willows below Soussons.

Posted June 18th, 2016 at 10:53 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the evening high-tide.

3-fs-Mediterranean Gulls, Common Gull, Great Black-back Gull, c600-Black-headed Gulls, 28-Redshank, 14-Bar-tailed Godwits, 21-Black-tailed Godwits, 57-Curlew, 12-Whimbrel, Knot, 3-Oystercatchers and the usual numbers of ducks.

Posted June 18th, 2016 at 9:19 pm by David Boult in General Birding

South Devon Railway: Totnes, Staverton & Buckfastleigh

Totnes: Jackdaws, Mallards but little else.
Staverton: Robin, 2 Mallards with young, ( 1 duck with a freshly hatched group of 8 and one pair with almost fledged group of about 7) and a Mandarin female.
Buckfastleigh: Mandarins, Mallards and Muscovys on the Dart, Sparrows and House Martins at the Station (1 House Martin nest had young and were being fed)

Posted June 18th, 2016 at 8:51 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding


Not much of note to report of late, but today the Little Grebes are now looking after their second brood - 4 little humbugs on Mum's back while the remaining juvenile from the first brood is still present and pretty much full grown now.  The three remaining juvenile Canada Geese are doing a great job with their parents cutting the grass for me!

Posted June 18th, 2016 at 5:07 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Venford Reservoir - Dart Valley Reserve- Holne Moor.

18 DB members attended todays all day fieldtrip on the moor (organised by East Branch). Total of 39 species listed for the day with good birds seen around the water works.  These included distant Gt crested Grebes with young on the reservoir, Grey Heron, Mistle Thrush, Siskin, a pair of Crossbill, Spotted Flycatcher, Song Thrush with young, Linnet, 1 Swift, Stonechat, Pied and Grey Wagtail, Redstart, Gt spotted Woodpecker and Nuthatch.  A few Swallow and good numbers of House Martin in the sky.  The lower woodland areas were disappointing with very distant songs of Wood Warbler and Pied Flycatcher detected but neither seen in contrast to previous years. A Tree Pipit and Kestrel seen on the return walk back to the car park where lunch was taken before the remaining group walked over the moor to the woodland area NW.  A young Gt spotted Woodpecker was being fed my a parent and more Redstarts and Tree Pipits were found plus Skylark,  Buzzard,  Yellow Hammer, Mistle Thrush, Stonechat and Willow Warblers.    

Posted June 18th, 2016 at 5:00 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Friday 17th June 2016

Off Budleigh beach

6 Sandwich Terns and two gannets feeding off Budleigh beach this afternoon

Posted June 17th, 2016 at 6:10 pm by Richard Allen in General Birding

Home Farm Marsh

Main pond ,just two mallard with two chicks ,one wigeon ,three teal and one juv grey heron.Salt Pill and around farm family parties of whitethroat,blue tits goldfinch,linnet,reed buntings and stonechats.also plenty of sedge warblers .one reed warbler ,willow warbler and one chiffchaff.

Posted June 17th, 2016 at 4:55 pm by Geoff Taylor in General Birding

Nesting Spotted Flycatchers in Devon

Devon Birds/RSPB/BTO Spotted flycatcher tracking project

We need your help in locating spotted flycatcher nests in Devon to contribute to a new project.

Spotted flycatchers have seen declines of 83% since the 1960s. Reasons for this decline may include factors operating within UK breeding grounds, such as reduced availability of invertebrates, but the species may also be declining due to problems along their migratory journey to Africa and back. But we still know almost nothing about their wintering grounds, we don't even know where UK birds go or the routes they take. It is possible they go as far as South Africa like our swallows, but we don't know. We need this information if we are to begin to understand what part of the annual cycle causes problems for spotted flycatchers, and where we might need to focus future work to reverse declines. To do this we are conducting some pioneering work that will track migrations and determine wintering areas using tiny tracking devises. These geolocators weigh only 0.36g - incredible!

But to be able to do this we need to catch and tag spotted flycatchers in places where they return each year, as we need to recapture tagged birds the year after to retrieve the tag and its data. The best places to do this are peoples gardens. So if you have nesting spotted flycatchers in your garden or farm, and are happy to have your spotted flycatchers captured and tagged for this project, please could you email or give me a call on 07876737372.

Emma Inzani, RSPB Research Assistant

Posted June 17th, 2016 at 3:09 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Cann Wood - Nightjars Thursday 16th

The weather held off for around 27 members and friends of Plymouth Branch for a very successful Nightjar Walk at Cann Woods, Plympton.  A bit of a breeze and cloud cover over the moon seemed to hold back the bird's activity and it was not until 9:45 when the first feint churring was heard.  The action hotted up after that with good views of several birds in flight were had by all, including two males chasing a female. Those in the group who had never seen Nightjars before were taken by the odd variety of churring, flight calls, gurgling and wing claps. A fly past Tawny Owl and Pipistrelle Bats added extra interest and at the very end a glow worm lit our way back to the car park.

Posted June 17th, 2016 at 12:07 am by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Thursday 16th June 2016

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the late afternoon high-tide.

5-Mediterranean Gulls (adult + 4 fs), 3-Sandwich Terns, Lesser Black-back Gull, Common Gull, c500-Black-headed Gulls, 14-Redshank, 14-Bar-tailed Godwits, c30-Black-tailed Godwits, 24-Curlew, 11-Whimbrel, 5-Gadwall, 4-Shoveller, 7-Teal, 5-Wigeon, c25-Shelduck, c20-House Martins and 2-Buzzard.

adult Mediterranean Gull  Sandwich Tern
adult Mediterranean Gull                                                                    Sandwich Tern

Posted June 16th, 2016 at 9:27 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Wednesday 15th June 2016

South Brent

A very unseasonably wet and overcast day at South Brent with torrential rain at times throughout the day which resulted in a home days birding.

Buzzard, Song Thrush, Stock Dove, Swallow, Swift and a calling Green Woodpecker all recorded.

The wet weather brought a good number of birds onto the feeders and some evidence of breeding success for the following species locally, adult male Pied Wagtail with one dependant youngster. Several young Robins with one bird beginning to colour up, young Blackbirds with adults seen collecting worms on the grass.

Magpie pair with two offspring, a very young Rook with several adults, a pair of Great Tits feeding two begging young, a small number of Greenfinch with one young bird that was feeding itself and three male Siskins with independent young joining them at the feeders.

Dependant male and female Chaffinch being fed by a male, a very noisy brood of Wrens that have been showing for several days now. The days highlight was initially hearing and then seeing a brood of at least two Goldcrest with an adult bird feeding in an Oak canopy.

Posted June 15th, 2016 at 6:52 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Taw Estuary + Wrafton Pond

11 Juveniles with these 2 adult Shelduck on the Taw Estuary.

Rain drops keep falling on my head - 6 Juv's  with a pair of Coots on Wrafton Pond.

Posted June 15th, 2016 at 6:33 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Lunchtime visit to the hide. 1 second year Mediterranean Gull, 1 Common Gull and 1 Sandwich Tern in with the Black-headed Gull flock.

Posted June 15th, 2016 at 3:13 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

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