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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Sunday 21st August 2016

Bowling Green Marsh

Visiting Bowling Green Marsh this morning with the RSPB Exeter local group, we were surpised to see a Wryneck.  It was perched on the side of a bush seen through one of the gaps in the hedge (first spotted by Dave Turrell).  Unfortunately it flew off (back towards the railway embankment) before everyone had had a good look.

Also on the marsh, there was a Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover.  Before heading off to look for the Wryneck, Keith Birchall has alerted is to a Goosander, which we eventally found in amongst the Canada Geese. Also of note were a few Bar-tailed Godwit and Whimbrel with the Curlew flock, and good numbers of Greenshank at Goosemoor.

Posted August 21st, 2016 at 2:03 pm by Richard Swinbank in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Northam Burrows

An adult pale-phase Pomarine Skua off Northam Burrows at 18.45 (on Saturday 20th) was reported on Twitter last night by Steve McAusland and is presumably the one seen by Rob Marshall at the Skern this morning. Steve sent me a "back of the camera" shot; a nice bird with intact, if a bit tatty, spoons (unsurprising given the time of year and the stormy conditions).

Ad Pomarine Skua, Northam Burrows, 21 Aug 2016, Steve McAusland


Posted August 21st, 2016 at 12:57 pm by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Ad pale phase Pomarine skua for 5 mins at 07:20.About to film when it took off in direction of w.ho!.Also juvs little stint,curlew sand,3 sanderling,2 each of common/sandwhich terns,2 black tailed godwits,4 meds 2 ads,2 juv/fw,52 ringed plover,36 dunlin and an ad peregrine.30 min seawatch from w.ho! pier house at 06:15 gave 1 storm petrel,150+ manx shearwaters,6 ganne,distant dark phase skua?.

Posted August 21st, 2016 at 9:42 am by Robert Marshall in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 20th August 2016

Berry Head

Seawatch 11.40 - 15.15: Balearic  Shearwater 36, Manx Shearwater c100, Common Tern 11, "Commic" Tern 3, Sandwich Tern, Arctic Skua (pale phase), Black-tailed Godwit 13, Harbour Porpoise 5+ and Grey Seal 1 or 2.

Missed all the goodies reported on Birdguides by 15.45, so look forward to hearing details.

Posted August 20th, 2016 at 9:02 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Hartland Point

08.00-15.00: Gannet 250, Fulmar 35, Manx Shearwater 160, Balearic Shearwater 3, European Storm Petrel 1, Bonxie 2, Kittiwake 4, Lesser Black-backed Gull 35, Commic Tern 120 (in 3 distant flocks). Massive seas, but conditions blown out if anything. Surprisingly low Manx and Kittiwake numbers and few Manx after first hour. Only Gannets continued moving all day. Pretty much everything moving W into the teeth of the gale.

Posted August 20th, 2016 at 6:43 pm by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 19th August 2016

Prawle Point Seawatch

Seawatch from 7.05am till 11.50 in 4-5 going 6 , wind direction S/SSE/S to SW with rain, heavy at times, the highlight being a Black-Browed Albatross seen very close gliding majestically east at 8.15am.!(No signal from the Point so was unable to alert other seawatchers till returned to the village at 12.30)

Also 2 Cory's ,1 Sooty,16 Balearic Shearwaters. And 2 Arctic Skuas and 1 Bonxie. 3 Whimbrel, 27 Kittiwakes ,2 Common Scoter and 6 Fulmars made up the rest of the cast.

Posted August 19th, 2016 at 7:35 pm by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Seawatch 0630-1545. Cory's Shearwater (0855), 3 Sooty Shearwaters, 62 Balearic Shearwaters, c1300 Manx Shearwaters, Long-tailed Skua, 13 Arctic Skuas, 4 Bonxie, c600 'Commic' Terns (close birds Common), 40+ Sandwich Terns, 2 Mediterranean Gulls (juvs), Little Gull, Common Gull juv, 11 Common Scoter, 3 Swift, 10+ Harbour Porpoise, 2 Grey Seal.

Posted August 19th, 2016 at 5:15 pm by Mark Darlaston in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 18th August 2016

River Otter

At Budleigh late afternoon: a nicely marked juv Yellow -legged Gull in the gull flock on the dried out scrape. A female Goosander on the river. On Otter Head:: 5 Wheatears and a White Wagtail.

Posted August 18th, 2016 at 6:11 pm by David Cope in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 15th August 2016

River Caen/Taw Estuary

18.30-21.00: 1 Great White Egret on Sherpa Marsh main scrape (18.45), seen from N bank of R Caen, but flew just around corner of reed-fringed channel and out of sight after only a minute or two. Also 1 Green Sandpiper, 16 Greenshank, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 1 Med Gull (ad), 19 Sand Martins, 1 Wheatear, 2 Yellow Wags, 20 Meadow Pipits. And the 2 escaped Chiloe Wigeon still present...

Posted August 15th, 2016 at 9:49 pm by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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