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  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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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 14th August 2016

South Efford Marsh

The adult Spotted Sandpiper showed late afternoon just south of the hide on the far side of the marsh, but reasonable views through the 'scope in excellent light. Also a Greenshank, a juv Little Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlins and 4+ Common Sandpipers.

Posted August 14th, 2016 at 9:10 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 13th August 2016

Well Spotted

An afternoon visit to Aveton Gifford didn't look too promising when I was informed the Spotted Sandpiper had not been seen since yesterday. But after a bit of a wait it showed briefly down channel of the hide before flying to the centre of the marsh where it stayed on view for at least an hour from 17:00 with a Common and a Green Sandpiper for comparison!  At least 5 Green and 4 Commons, 4 Dunlin and a Snipe. A poor record photo.

Posted August 13th, 2016 at 8:41 pm by Chris Marcol in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


6 Med Gulls on the beach this morning two with colour rings (white).

Goodrington: 2 juv Med Gulls on beach

Preston: 1 Yellow-legged Gull juv on rocks at low tide(my first for this beach!), 13 Sandwich Terns, 8 Turnstone

Posted August 13th, 2016 at 9:36 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 12th August 2016


Early morning visit produced a imm male marsh harrier harried by a kestrel  two little egret four heron and one smart whimbrel.unusual were two kestrels on owl box.i was joined by Malcolm Shakespeare at11am and so did the marsh harrier,all from main hide.Saltpill produced sparrowhawk and buzzard with usual finches and warblers,

Posted August 12th, 2016 at 3:11 pm by Geoff Taylor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Spotted Sandpiper still at South Efford Marsh

12th Aug 2016. Spotted Sandpiper distant, but showing very well at South Efford Marsh. Visited 0800-0930 hrs, also 3 Green Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper.

Posted August 12th, 2016 at 1:07 pm by Barry Rankine in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 11th August 2016

River Caen/Taw Estuary

15.00-19.30: Little Egret 20, Marsh Harrier 1m, Dunlin 140, Ringed Plover 36, Green Sandpiper 1, Common Sandpiper 2, Greenshank 12, Whimbrel 3, Common Gull 3, Mediterranean Gull 9, Kingfisher 1, Swift 1, Sand Martin 30, Swallow 50, Wheatear 1, Yellow Wagtail 2.

Posted August 11th, 2016 at 9:42 pm by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Another juv Yellow-legged Gull at Broadsands beach this morning with juv Herring Gulls around it..

Yellow-legged Gull juv Broadsands 11 Aug 2016 ML Yellow-legged Gull juv Broadsands 11 Aug 2016 ML

A couple of comparison shots showing Great Black-backed and Lesser Black-backed juveniles below.


Posted August 11th, 2016 at 9:25 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 10th August 2016

Exminster Marshes- Marsh Harrier

Female Marsh Harrier feeding in the fields halfway between the RSPB carpark and the bottom end of the reserve. Flew off towards the Turf Locks at 7.25 pm.

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 11:26 pm by Tony D-C in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Female marsh harrier on lsley marsh and Home Farm marsh this morning.

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 10:06 pm by Geoff Taylor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Osprey watched hunting the taw river from crow point to fremington quay.Sat on a sand bank for a while before the weather turned and it flew off towards Barnstaple. Also hunting on Horsey island a Marsh Harrier .

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 9:49 pm by Charles & Amanda Braddick in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Horsey Island / Taw Estuary

Amazing afternoon watching an Osprey hunting the river Taw from Crow point to Fremington Quay. Before the weather turned. Also lucky to see a juvenile Marsh Harrier hunting briefly over Horsey Island  

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 9:03 pm by Charles & Amanda Braddick in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 9th August 2016

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the morning high-tide.

From the hide Green Sandpiper, 3-Common Sandpipers, adult Mediterranean Gull, 2-Sandwich Terns (ad + juv) amongst the usual high numbers of other waders. Still a few Willow Warblers in the hedgerows along the road from the hide.

RSPB Goosemmor on the dropping tide Spotted Redshank showed well after being flushed by Buzzard which was stood on the fencing decided to fly off, c200-Redshank and 35-Greenshank.

Green Sandpiper  (BGM)Spotted Redshank  (RSPB Goosemoor)

Posted August 9th, 2016 at 4:18 pm by David Boult in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 8th August 2016

Spotted Sandpiper - South Efford Marsh - 8.8.2016

1130 - 1630 Well marked Spotted Sandpiper , probably first seen lower down the Avon estuary by Rodney Bone on the evening of 6.8.2016, located by me on the south end of the marsh at 1130hrs on 8.8.2016. Bird disappeared in various gullies for lengthy periods of time, reappearing to give good, but distant, views to several local experienced birders. Still present at 1630 hrs, when I left with more birders arriving. Sadly too distant for any photographs at that time.

Posted August 8th, 2016 at 5:41 pm by David Pakes in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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