Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Thursday 7th July 2016

Cranbrook, Nr Exeter

A quick visit this morning to the lake at Cranbrook (400m west of the Secondary Education Campus) produced an early Green Sandpiper.  Cranbrook has previously produced early and late records of Green and Wood Sandpiper and they seem to like this area with its new waterways.  Sadly 'The Scrape' (opposite the new railway station) that has featured in my past reports has been taken over by water plants and is no longer viewable.  Also present in hedgerows near to the Ed Campus were several Whitethroat but no signs of Lesser seen recently.

Posted July 7th, 2016 at 2:57 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 6th July 2016

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 18:20 till 20:45

328+ curlew was another increase with numbers increasing on a daily basis , 14+ greenshanks , 1 spotted redshank, 133+ black tailed godwits, 6+ bar tailed godwits, 2 dunlin, 1 knot, 230+ redshanks, 20+ whimbrel, 800+ black headed gulls including 11+ juveniles, 3+ Mediterranean gulls, at least 10+ sandwich terns came in with others calling and flying around , 70+ mallards, 6 wigeon, 2 tufted ducks, 4 gadwall,

A quick look on the estuary produced 3 sandwich terns from the goatwalk,  and a further 6 sandwich terns on boats from topsham museum with 2 adult Mediterranean gulls. 


Posted July 6th, 2016 at 10:12 pm by Keith Birchall in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Adult Pomarine skua seen during kayak trip Cawsand to Eddystone. Approx 3 miles offshore. Definitely flew into Devon airspace!

2 female Common Scoter near Eddystone.

Approx 300 manx shearwater

Also 6 Harbour Porpoise

Posted July 6th, 2016 at 9:05 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

R.Caen & Horsey Island

Just packing up to go home for supper after some bird watching on R.Caen & wait for it -  a mystery bird flew over the R.Caen, dropped down on the Chivenor side for a few seconds & then re -appeared flying south over Horsey Island towards the south end of Braunton Burrows. It's flight behaviour was similar to a nightjar but it had a white rump & a forked tail.

Took a while to sink in but now I am certain it was a Collared Pratincole.

Keep your eyes wide open on the Skern folks because it was heading your way.

Eds: a Collared Pratincole was found at Ham Walls Reserve Somerset on Sunday 10th July...

Posted July 6th, 2016 at 8:30 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Huish

Major works planned to improve the scrapes are due to start in a few weeks time so we have now drained down prior to heavy machinery coming in at the end of the month. 

Posted July 6th, 2016 at 2:16 pm in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Rillage Point

06.45–08.30 Signs of post-breeding passage and dispersal, with 4 Common Scoter W, single Curlew, Dunlin and Grey Wagtail and 54 Swifts (apparently migrating E in small flocks along the cliffs, but might also be a local feeding movement, though my first record since spring passage). Also the usual westward early morning movement of feeding Manx Shearwaters, with a minimum of 1,635.

Posted July 6th, 2016 at 1:37 pm by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Red Kite Ottery

Red Kite just gone over Ottery at noon floating SW

Posted July 6th, 2016 at 12:20 pm by Ben Rowland in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 5th July 2016

Braunton Burrows

A very interesting walk on Braunton Burrows this evening (7-9:30) with the Devon Wildlife Trust group to view the flora also gave good views of Stonechat, two Skylarks, a Mediterranean Gull with a small flock of Black-headed Gulls on the beach and an 'Osprey' perched on a bank next to a path about 200 metres away.  The 'Osprey' took off after a few minutes and headed west to the beach and then turned south.

Med Gull Braunton BurrowsOsprey Braunton Burrows 5.7.2016

Eds the 'Osprey' is actually a pale Buzzard. The rather stocky overall structure, short primary extension, and head pattern rule out Osprey, its a common mistake to make. Devon Birds published this to help observers some years ago: 

Posted July 5th, 2016 at 11:38 pm by Kim Beaver in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bowling green marsh

watched from 18:20 till 20:45 from the hide

1322+ Black headed gulls  included 8+ juveniles, 4+ Mediterranean gulls( 2 adults and 2 1st summers) , 1 1st summer common gull , 297+ curlew, 15+ whimbrel, 4 dunlin, 200+ redshank  , 1 spotted redshank  3 greenshanks, 8+ oystercatchers, 110+ Black tailed godwits, 5+ bar tailed godwits, 14 sandwich tern included the first juvenile of the summer , 1 buzzard , 15+ reed warblers, 4 wigeon.

Posted July 5th, 2016 at 10:05 pm by Keith Birchall in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Clyst & Bowling Green Marsh, yesterday afternoon

In the Clyst estuary channel from the platform from 4pm on, 75 redshanks, 1 spotted redshank (moulting out of summer plumage), 1 curlew, pair shelduck with ducklings; and 1 curlew & small flock bar tailed godwit flew over. At Bowling Green Marsh flocks of black tailed godwit, curlew, redshank, also a few whimbrel, dunlin, 3+ greenshank, 1 spotted redshank (prob same bird as earlier), & little egrets, 1 dabchick & a few hundred black headed gulls. 2 flocks shelduck and 1 sparrowhawk flew over.

Posted July 5th, 2016 at 2:00 pm by Chris Proctor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 3rd July 2016


Here come the meds.18 this eveniny,8 ads,6ss,4fs.Also juv little egret my first ever and for the area,2 redshank 40 bhg.17:15-18:00

Posted July 3rd, 2016 at 9:46 pm by Robert Marshall in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Rillage Point to Watermouth

07.00–09.00 About 550 Manx Shearwaters flew W; 5 juvenile Little Egrets flew in and landed on Rillage Point (dispersing migrants and my highest ever patch count). No evidence of any gull or tern migration.

Posted July 3rd, 2016 at 11:12 am by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 2nd July 2016

Topsham rec

Over the course of the morning 1 adult, 1 2nd calendar yr & 2 1st calendar yr Med gulls at Topsham rec.

Posted July 2nd, 2016 at 8:37 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exeter Eagle-Owl

The Eagle-Owl has been seen roosting in gardens in the St. James area of the city recently.


Posted July 2nd, 2016 at 2:48 pm by Martin Overy in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 1st July 2016

Kingsbridge Est

Report of Osprey 4.00pm yesterday  afternoon with fish (Tony Tabb/Chris Klee)

Posted July 1st, 2016 at 10:10 pm in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the afternoon high-tide.

Spotted Redshank now moulting, c200-Redshank, 8-Bar-tailed Godwits, c 35-Black-tailed Godwits, 13-Whimbrel, 150+ Curlew, 3-Oystercatchers, 4-Mediterranean Gulls (2 2nd sum + 2 fs), 2-Sandwich Terns, Common Gull, c850-Black-headed Gulls, 2-Stock Doves.

Posted July 1st, 2016 at 9:14 pm by David Boult in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Older Posts in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts →

← Newer Posts in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts