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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Tuesday 14th June 2016


The top end of Stover Country park this morning gave at least singing Chiffchaff.

The Newton Abbot area provided views of  two Herons, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, two broods of young Mallard ducklings, Wren and Swift, Swallow, House Martin and Greater Spotted Woodpecker.

The DWT reserve at Chudleigh Knighton heath and Chudleigh Knighton Meadows gave views of Swift, Swallow, Yellow Hammer, Stonechat, Greenfinch and Chiffchaff singing.

Ashburton ~ Buzzard overhead carrying what appeared to be a rabbit kit and a Kestrel hovering by the A38.

An evening visit to the Bovey Tracy area gave three Nightjars calling with one bird being seen briefly in flight.

Back at home a brood of Wren chicks, the first House Sparrow fledgling of the season on the feeders, further broods of Robin and Blackbird, Jay on the feeders, nice to see a Song Thrush back in the garden and a fly past from a hen Sparrow Hawk.

Posted June 14th, 2016 at 11:15 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Monday 13th June 2016

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the early afternoon high-tide.

From the hide 2-Mediterranean Gulls (adult + fs) different birds from before, 7-Sandwich Terns, c350-Black-headed Gulls, 12-Bar-tailed Godwits, 43-Black-tailed Godwits, 10-Whimbrel, c30-Shellduck, 6-Wigeon, 7-Teal, 3-Little Egrets, 3-Grey Herons, c50-House Martins, c20-Swallows, Buzzard and a Goshawk picked up by Gary which showed really before disappearing low behind the trees right of the hide but unable to locate again from the road outside and probably headed towards riversmeet house direction.

The 3 Fox cubs were out playing with the vixen alongside the railway embankment during the heavy rain period.

From the viewing platform fs Common Gull , c8-Whimbrel, c20-Curlew, 12-Little Egrets and 3-Great-crested Grebes.

Mediterranean Gulls (adult & first summer together)
Mediterranean Gulls (adult & first summer together)

Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit

Grey Heron stood on a stone in left water channel
Grey Heron stood on a stone in left water channel

Posted June 13th, 2016 at 8:54 pm by David Boult in General Birding

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 13th, 2016 at 9:05 am by Malcolm Burgess in General Birding

Sunday 12th June 2016

Chapel Wood round up

A few more walks around the wood and area with the dog. Very close views (10m) of a group of 6 red deer hinds from the car into the woods off of the lane,probably with young hidden. They seem less skittish than years ago - perhaps because they are not being hunted so much? More on the hillside. A single Roe Deer in Chapel Wood which is a first for me in the Wood itself. Green WP, GSWP, Treecreepers, Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Siskin and Bullfinch, Blue, Great Coal and Long Tailed Tit, Spotted Fly, Redstarts and tonight a lovely Tawny Owl fledgling sitting on a low bough with its back to me at first - looking for all the world like a fluffy cactus with feathers poking out of the bottom until it turned a gave me that dark stare that owls give. Moved off quickly so parents could feed it. Squirrels, more fox and badger evidence. All the corvids, Song Thrush, Chiff Chaff, Willow W, Blackcaps, Goldcrest, Wrens, Robins, Black birds, Buzzards, Hares, Rabbits, Woodies and Collared Doves, Pheasants, lots of fledglings appearing and learning the ropes. My favourite time of year in woodlands.

Posted June 12th, 2016 at 10:29 pm by Rob Barnes in General Birding

Roborough Down 10-06-16

Is this a Chiffchaff????

Eds: Despite the dark looking legs dull plumage and weak supercilium this looks to be a Willow Warbler based on the primary tips extension and tail length combined with the overall colouring. In the field you could have looked to see if the bird was dipping its tail regularly - if  not then willow warbler could have been confirmed as the birds id.

Posted June 12th, 2016 at 8:24 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Saturday 11th June 2016

Holdstone down exmoor

A humid walk today produced stonechat young and old in several places,meadow pipits, skylarks, which disappeared into the sea fog that enveloped the coastline. a buzzard, a couple of rooks and best bird of the day for me was a very colourful linnet.

Posted June 11th, 2016 at 5:20 pm by philip worth in General Birding

Friday 10th June 2016

Hisley Woods (Rudge Wood), Bovey Valley.

In spite of the light rain, which turned heavier towards noon, 9 DB members enjoyed the morning taking a circular walk from Drakeford Bridge to Hisley Woods before returning via Pullbrook Wood.  Birds found included 3 pairs of Pied Flycatcher, c3 pairs of Tree creeper, a pair of Grey Wagtail, 1 Dipper, a Marsh Tit with food, c4 singing Wood Warbler and Siskins to name a few species.  After lunch in the hide at Yarner we moved up the hill towards Trendlebere Down where a Tree Pipit and a pair of Yellow Hammer were added to the list. 

Posted June 10th, 2016 at 5:27 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Thursday 9th June 2016

Skywatching on Dartmoor - 9 June 2016

Just got back from ten hours in the field skywatching at various watchpoints on central and western Dartmoor.

Weather was poor first thing with thick low cloud and very limited visibility. Brightened up later with hazy sunshine, high cloud and a light Southerly breeze, Force 2 - 3 - so ideal for soaring . Temperature dropped again late afternoon and low cloud spreading in from South East, with accompanying poor visibility.

Saw 3-4 Hobbies, 2 Common Kestrel, 1 Peregrine, 1 Sparrowhawk, 37+ Common Buzzard, 3 Raven but, unfortunately, no Lammergeier.

Other species seen included: 3 Cuckoo, 6 displaying Common Snipe, 3+ pairs of Wheatear, 3 Mistle Thrush, 2 Grey Wagtail, 4 Stonechat, 4 Common Swift and Skylarks everywhere.


Posted June 9th, 2016 at 10:59 pm by Nick P. Williams in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the morning high-tide.

fs Little Gull, adult Mediterranean Gull, c350 Black-headed Gulls, Common Gull, 7-Whimbrel, c20-Curlew, 11-Bar-tailed Godwits, c40-Black-tailed Godwits, 3-Redshank, Lapwing, Gadwall, 7-Teal, 3-Wigeon, 3-Little Egrets, c40-Shelduck, c30-House Martins and c20-Swallows.

Little & Med Gulls:

fs Little Gull
fs Little Gull

Little Gull flying out to the estuary at 10:53hrs
Little Gull flying out to the estuary at 10:53hrs

adult Mediterranean Gull (centre)
adult Mediterranean Gull (centre)

Posted June 9th, 2016 at 3:00 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Noss Mayo

Harvey Kendall's observation re bird box occupation. We have 25 boxes in Brookings Down Wood and only 6 appear to be occupied. In 2015 15 were used.

Totnes there were no hirundine observed over the town on the 8th.

Posted June 9th, 2016 at 8:18 am by Jeremy Spooner in General Birding


Delighted to be hearing a cuckoo in Braunton this morning (6.30-7ish). First we've heard this year)

Posted June 9th, 2016 at 7:03 am by Zena Lymer in General Birding

Wednesday 8th June 2016

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the morning high-tide into the glaring sun.

9-Sandwich Terns, 4-Mediterranean Gulls (4 fs + 2nd summer), 1-Common Gull, 1-Lesser Black-backed Gull, c350 Black-headed Gulls, 10-Bar-tailed Godwits, c40-Black-tailed Godwits, 2-Redshank, 15-Curlew, 1-Whimbrel, 2-Oystercatchers, 1-Stock Dove, 6-Tufted Ducks (5m + 1f), 2-Shoveler, 3-Wigeon, 2-Teal, 1-Reed Bunting and 8-Reed Warblers.

From the viewing platform 3-Great-crested Grebes, 2-Sandwich Terns, c80 Oystercatchers and Sparrowhawk over.

3-Sandwich Terns
3-Sandwich Terns

3-Sandwich Terns (top)
3-Sandwich Terns (top)

Posted June 8th, 2016 at 3:21 pm by David Boult in General Birding

I agree with Steve.

Referring to Steve Hopper's recent recent report - I quite agree.   There seems to be a worrying lack of birds generally and an especial dearth of hirundines.

Of my 22 bird boxes in a private wood near my home, only nine are in use this season.

Harvey Kendall

Posted June 8th, 2016 at 2:44 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding


Red legged partridge running across Brixham road , from the old Nortel  site to the houses opposite . Narrowly missed by a few cars! 

Posted June 8th, 2016 at 6:46 am by Graeme Davey in General Birding

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