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  Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug 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
Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May  


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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Sunday 7th August 2016


A quiet day in the garden today, a couple of goldfinches, pair of Robins adult and juvenile, female blackcap and a sparrowhawk flying over.

Sparrow hawk Looking for teaSparrow hawk seeing tea


Posted August 7th, 2016 at 7:50 pm by philip worth in General Birding

Lyme Bay boat trip

A good range of species seen from the boat trip out into Lyme Bay from Brixham this morning; 20+ Manx shearwater, 1+ Balearic shearwater, 2 storm petrel, 1 arctic skua, 1 bonxie, among the gannets, fulmars, guillemots & commoner gulls. 2 porpoises off the end of Berry Head and a pod of 18+ Common dolphins further out to sea provided some mammal interest.

Balearic shearwater
Balearic shearwater


Storm petrel
Storm petrel

Posted August 7th, 2016 at 6:04 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Brixham Lyme Bay boat trip

A good trip out this morning but a little bit rough!! A good cross section of species seen on the trip.

Great Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring gull, 60 Manx Shearwater, 3 Balearic Shearwater, Artic Skua, Great Skua, 2 Storm Petrel, Fulmar, 2 Razorbill and 40+ Guillemots in small rafts. A good seabird trip and also had 20+ Common Dolphin with young and 3 Porpoise. 

Posted August 7th, 2016 at 6:00 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Plym Estuary

A look just after high tide; a few birds now beginning to gather.

4 Sandwich Terns briefly on the pool before getting flushed by a dog; also there - Oystercatcher, 16 Little Egrets and 28 Curlews. On the estuary: 5 Common Sandpipers, 2 Greenshanks, 91 Redshanks, and 10 Grey Herons. Swift heard.


Posted August 7th, 2016 at 1:37 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Saturday 6th August 2016

Bowling Green Marsh

Just to add some photos and video to Keith's earlier post of the Spotted Flycatchers along the footpath to the viewing platform.

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Posted August 6th, 2016 at 10:59 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 08:00 till 14:30

A good morning with an unexpected fall of 5+ spotted flycatchers around the path to the viewing platform this amongst s fall of willow warblers with 20+ around the marsh, and smaller numbers  of chiffchaffs.

waders over the high tide included 200+ dunlin, 1 spotted redshank, 420+ redshank, 40+ whimbrel, 8 bar tailed godwits, 450+ black tailed godwits included at least 6 juv's, 3 common sandpipers, 6 lapwing, 6 greenshanks, 4 oystercatchers, 300+ curlew.

from the viewing platform, 1 kingfisher , one group of dunlin of 141+ included 90+ juveniles looks like dunlin have had a good breeding season.

Posted August 6th, 2016 at 5:14 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Codden Hill, North Devon.

Perched on the top of a tree near the reservoir on Codden Hill, sorry about the quality of the photo.


Posted August 6th, 2016 at 4:10 pm by Richard Yeats in General Birding

South Pool Creek, Kingsbridge Estuary

10 Greenshank - from the kayak!

Posted August 6th, 2016 at 4:01 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

GBB Legring

Snapped this Great black-backed gull also at Seaton Marsh, out on the River Axe. Turns out it was ringed in Looe or Falmouth.  White with Red Alpha numeric markings L:BB6  (Apologies for rubbish picture)

Posted August 6th, 2016 at 3:56 pm by steph murphy in General Birding

Thurlestone (South Huish Marsh)

A mid morning stroll round the marsh produced 1 Spotted Flycatcher, a family group of 2 juvenile and 2 adult Heron, 12 Ringed Plovers, stationery on the drained area, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Buzzard being bombed by Swallows and 1 female Wheatear. It was too busy with holidaymakers to stay much longer than an hour or so.

Posted August 6th, 2016 at 3:15 pm by steph murphy in General Birding


On a mid-tide early morning visit to Broadsands 31 Great Black Backed Gulls of which at least three were ringed. Of the two rings that I could obtain details ~ 6AA8 subject of a recent post at the same location was ringed in Guernsey and appears to be resident at Broadsands the second readable ring bearing O.BE on a very scruffy poor condition individual.


With the gathered Herring Gulls was possibly my first Yellow Legged Gull, a juvenile, slightly but obviously larger than the Herring Gulls that it was with and a visibly larger beak but whether I am right or not is another matter. A single Oyster catcher on the rocks.

Eds: its a juv Herring Gull Steve, an email has been sent to you with reason. Look at notched tertials and rather barred tail and rump - not white and clean as in YLG.

Eight Swifts over the Warberry end of Torquay.
Very little from the Torquay coastal path of note.
Meadfoot gave four Rock Pipits and a ringed Shag.
On the way home a Kestrel hunting near Blagdon, Marldon.

Posted August 6th, 2016 at 1:21 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Good parenting

Another of this pipits massive task on Dartmoor

Cuckoo juv fed by pipit

Posted August 6th, 2016 at 12:02 pm by John Deakins in General Birding

Friday 5th August 2016

late swifts

we still have swifts nesting under the eaves today just outside okehampton

Posted August 5th, 2016 at 10:06 pm by laurence smith in General Birding


Still three Swifts over Northam this morning flying down the Torridge towards Bideford.

Also two Mediterranean Gulls on Westward Ho! beach this afternoon feeding in the moats of sandcastles close to the pebble ridge and negotiating their way through the many visitors!

Posted August 5th, 2016 at 9:04 pm by Martin Unwin in General Birding

Beesands Hide - Refurbishment Update

The missing materials for the Beesands hide refurbishment have arrived.  The work will start on Monday 15 August and will be completed the next day.  The hide will not be useable for those two days.

Posted August 5th, 2016 at 7:35 pm by Nick Townsend in General Birding

South Brent

Local farmer cut my fields for hay this afternoon the grass cutting soon attracted four Buzzards that took advantage of an impromptu food supply.

While using binoculars to watch the Buzzards noticed a large movement of House Martins all headed west at great height beyond normal eye sight, as the afternoon went on another flock of House Martins came over the cut fields feeding.

Posted August 5th, 2016 at 7:27 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Soar Mill Valley & Higher Soar

In the valley 5 Wheatear, first returning Redstart, 2 Sedge Warbler, Blackcap, 8 Whitethroat & 17 Willow Warbler. At Higher Soar c.10 Swift,. 200 Swallow & 300 House Martin.

Posted August 5th, 2016 at 2:14 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Exeter, Cathedral Yard

Heard, but did not see Swift yesterday evening around 18:45.

Posted August 5th, 2016 at 1:16 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

late swifts

Thursday 4th August: 4 swifts passed over moving west during day. At 20.15 there were 30 feeding over the western part of South Molton for 5 mins or more.

Friday 5th August: 12.05 13 swift moved west in light drizzle

Posted August 5th, 2016 at 12:12 pm by arthur symons in General Birding

Thursday 4th August 2016

Swift - Kingsteignton

An adult swift was seen entering its nest this evening at 2015hrs. An adult was also seen overhead last evening but the bulk had left on the 1st

Posted August 4th, 2016 at 8:34 pm by JDA in General Birding

Least Sandpiper

Here's a couple more to add to Dave's post, great little bird and worth the trip.

Posted August 4th, 2016 at 7:12 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Cool and breezy with some brief sun.

2 Coal Tits, 4 Great Tits, 6+ Blue Tits, 1 Marsh Tit,   2 Nuthatches, 1 Willow Warbler, 4 Chaffinches, 1 Greenfinch, 3 House Sparrows, 1 Moorhen, 10+ Swallows, 1 Buzzard, c.10 Mallard, 3 Great Crested Grebes - one still on nest. 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, usual corvids and several Wood Pigeons, .

Harvey Kendall & Rod Mudge.

Posted August 4th, 2016 at 1:15 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Wednesday 3rd August 2016

Seaton Marshes

Both the Least and the Wood Sandpiper showing well in front of the hide.

Posted August 3rd, 2016 at 4:30 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Beesands Hide - Refurbishment

Beesands Hide - Refurbishment

Please Note: Devon Birds' contractor will be carrying out repairs and refurbishment work on the Beesands hide on Monday and Tuesday next week (8 & 9 August). The hide will not be useable on those days.

Posted August 3rd, 2016 at 4:24 pm in General Birding

Exeter Swifts

There were still 4 Swifts yesterday evening (2 August) over Heavitree Road, Exeter.

Posted August 3rd, 2016 at 4:04 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

East Soar

Reed Warbler, 6 Whitethroat & 6 Willow Warbler. Also second generation of Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary on wing.

Posted August 3rd, 2016 at 12:33 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Black Hole Marsh

The Least Sandpiper still at Black Hole Marsh this morning from 6am for its second day, and showing well from the Island Hide. Also Wood Sand, sev LRP's and Common Sands 

Posted August 3rd, 2016 at 10:02 am by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Tuesday 2nd August 2016

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 16:55 till 19:50

A good evening with the juv Little Ringed Plover showing well , 2 ringed plover ( 1 adult, 1 juv) , 1 spotted redshank, 498+ redshank, 4 greenshanks, 404+ black tailed godwits, 8 bar tailed godwits, 162+ dunlin included 51+ juv's , 384+ curlew, 40+ whimbrel, 2 oystercatchers, 2 common sandpipers, 2 yellow wagtails, 2 Mediterranean gulls( 1 adult, 1 2nd summer ) among 400+ black headed gulls.

Posted August 2nd, 2016 at 10:05 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Broadsands and Totnes

On a rising tide a visit to Broadsands this afternoon 18 Great Black Backed Gulls, Herring Gulls and a small number of Black Headed Gulls on the beach, very little out to sea just two Cormorants noted.

Ringed Plover Broadsands 02082016 

High light was two Ring Plover one adult and one juvenile, the first of this species that I have seen at this location.

Four Greenfinch and eight House Martins over the car park.

Two Gannet of off Shoalstone, Brixham.

On the site of the lower school at KEVIC’s, Totnes a single Mediterranean Gull along with two Black Headed Gulls on the school field.

Posted August 2nd, 2016 at 6:46 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Berry Head

Four hour watch between 11.00 and 15.00 hours produced a single Sooty Shearwater (11.30) 5 Balearic and 414 Manx Shearwater, 5 Common Scoter and 2 Sandwich Terns. Compared to Porthgwara today it was rather quiet !

Posted August 2nd, 2016 at 4:58 pm by Clive Mason in General Birding

Monday 1st August 2016

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 16:40 till 19:40 

A good evening viewing over the high tide with 108+ dunlin which included 32+ juv's, 1 juv little ringed plover , 2 ringed plover, 4 knot looking very smart still in full summer plumage, 387+ curlew and 20+ whimbrel, 4+ common sandpipers, 1 spotted redshank , 25+ greenshanks , 250+ redshank, 380+ black tailed godwits, 8 bar tailed godwits, 8+ lapwing, 300+ black headed gulls  2 lesser black backed gulls, 6 little egrets, 8 wigeon , 1 sedge warbler  18+ Moorhens, 60+ mallards, 3 shovelers. 

Posted August 1st, 2016 at 10:41 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

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