Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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


If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help us 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 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

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 by George & Julia Harris 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 by George & Julia Harris 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

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