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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Balearic amongst the Manx

From this mornings trip out into Lyme Bay with Nigel

Posted August 14th, 2016 at 5:38 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Clyst Honiton - Cranbrook (East Devon)

A Green Sandpiper took flight from the river bank by the new sewage pumping station at Clyst Honiton as I dropped by to see if the public footpath has been opened yet.  (Found that the new foot bridge has yet to be built, so the path remains closed).  (A Common Sandpiper was in the same place a few weeks ago where the river is only feet wide). 

Calling in at the large lake west of the Education Campus at Cranbrook, Swallows and House Martins where present in good numbers feeding over the water and an overhead Hobby was a new tick for this area.  Later at 1610 hrs when home three miles away, a Hobby (maybe same one?) flew over the house heading towards Whimple.  Quite a regular visitor here most summers.   

Posted August 14th, 2016 at 5:17 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Late swift

Single swift over Kingsteignton Saturday 20.10.

Posted August 14th, 2016 at 4:07 pm by Patrick Case in General Birding

Lyme Bay trip from Brixham

This mornings trip out of Brixham a few species of seabirds. 25 Manx Shearwater, 1 Balearic Shearwater, 1 Great Skua, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Great black-backed gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Guillemots and Gannet.  3 Harbour Porpoise and at least 12 Common Dolphin, very difficult to know how many we had around the boat. Many young gulls around boat when chumming!!   Looking forward to next Saturday and Sunday trip with DB Plymouth Group.

Posted August 14th, 2016 at 2:56 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Soar Valley

0900 to 1030. Nice cluster of birds and butterflies at the bottom of the valley These included Whitethroats, Willow Warblers, a restless Pied Flycatcher and a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary.. In total in the valley  were 10+ Whitethroats, 20+ Phylloscs, 12 Stonechats, and a Blackcap..9 other butterfly species.

Posted August 14th, 2016 at 11:41 am by Roger White in General Birding

Saturday 13th August 2016

Mount Batten, plymouth

Family stroll mid afternoon. 6 Med gulls, incl 2 juvs plus 2 Sandwich terns Last Sunday there were 9 Med gulls in total, incl 3 juvs.

Posted August 13th, 2016 at 8:34 pm by Richard Archer in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

The Marsh Harrier still present on the southern side of Exminster Marsh near the lagoon at 7pm. Flew off towards the northern marsh. 

Posted August 13th, 2016 at 8:27 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

South Hams

South Efford Marsh first thing - Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpipers, Kingfisher, Snipe, 3 Swifts & 8 Dunlins, but nothing else Spotted!

At Soar a Yellow Wagtail, c20 Whitethroats, a handful of Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers and a buck Roe Deer.

Posted August 13th, 2016 at 4:56 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Friday 12th August 2016

12-08-16 Roborough Down, Plymouth

12-08-16. A Good sighting of a Chiffchaff and to my surprise a very obliging Wheatear, which came within 9 feet of me, other birds seen were, Juv Linnets, Juv Dunnock, Goldfinches and Stonechats


Eds: the chiffchaff is actually a juv Willow Warbler despite the dark legs(unreliable feature) check the brightness of the plumage, strong supercilium and most importantly the length of the exposed primaries beyond the tertials,the edges at the tip are also rather spaced out - unlike the short and bunched tips on a Chiffchaff. 

Posted August 12th, 2016 at 9:33 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Portlemouth Down

Walking along the coastal path from Mill bay a small, slim falcon flew past just below me, I managed to refind it further along and it proved to be a juvenile Hobby with clear facial markings, heavy streaking underneath and lacking the red trousers. It gained height then flew inland.

Posted August 12th, 2016 at 7:32 pm by Elliot Dowding in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Best birds over the afternoon low high-tide was Spotted Redshank, 3-Little -ringed Plovers, 3-Common Sandpipers and adult Mediterranean Gull


Common SandpiperCommon Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper

Posted August 12th, 2016 at 6:42 pm by David Boult in General Birding

East Soar

A bit of movement through the area: 3 Wheatear, 13 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 12 Willow Warbler, Bullfinch and post-breeding Linnet numbers up to 227.

Posted August 12th, 2016 at 2:02 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Thursday 11th August 2016

South Efford Marsh

Spotted Sandpiper still present. Also, 1 Common Sand., and 1 Green Sand.

Posted August 11th, 2016 at 3:21 pm by Mark Painter in General Birding

Beesands Hide - Refurbishment Further 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 11th, 2016 at 2:29 pm by Nick Townsend in General Birding


Good views of a marsh harrier yesterday morning flying along the flood bank between Isley marsh and HFM.main pond two grey heron,two little egret,one wigeon seven mallard ,and a kestrel on the owl box.

Posted August 11th, 2016 at 9:40 am by Geoff Taylor in General Birding

Wednesday 10th August 2016

Spotted Flycatcher

While releasing a rehabilitated Buzzard near Harbourneford, South Brent this evening had a pleasant few minutes watching a Spotted Flycatcher using a field gate as a perch to hawk insects from. 

Five Buzzards seen in the area, three Greater Spotted Woodpeckers the land owner tells me that a pair of Kestrel have reared and fledged three young on his land this season.

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 9:18 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Little Egrets

Little Egrets

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 7:30 pm by Rob Jerrard in General Birding

walk from Lympstone to Exmouth, cycle track

With wife and dog walked from Lympstone to Exmouth.  Thought I would take lighter wide lens and of course needed a better one.  House Martins feeding 2nd brood, one in a very unusual "house".  Also about 25 Little Egrets in a field at Exmouth end.  Sorry about quality of photos

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 7:27 pm by Rob Jerrard in General Birding

Frogmore Creek & West Charlton Marsh

Afternoon walk along the edge of Frogmore creek, ending up in the hide at West Charlton. Cirl Buntings, 6 Greenshanks on the creek, 2 Dunlin also, plenty of Buzzards around. From the hide counted 70 Curlew on the mudflats, 1 Whimbrel, 4 Common Gulls, Redshanks a-plenty.

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 5:04 pm by Elliot Dowding in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Just to add to earlier post seen from the hide over the high-tide a juvenile Ruff and a Common Tern on a buoy off Exton from viewing platform.

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 4:51 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the morning high-tide.

From the hide 2-Little Ringed Plovers, 3-Common Sandpipers, Spotted Redshank with the usual good numbers of waders.

From the viewing platform a Painted Lady butterfly along the footpath, 4-Common Sandpipers right of the platform with a few Long-tailed Tits and Willow Warblers around the hedgerows.

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 4:37 pm by David Boult in General Birding

Shipley Bridge to Avon Dam

Despite the cold northerly wind some evidence of movement. Best bird was a 1st year Wood Warbler associating with Chiffchaffs (total around 25). 5 Willow Warblers, 12 Stonechat, 30 House Martin and 15 Swallows as well as the normally expected species. 

Posted August 10th, 2016 at 3:50 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Tuesday 9th August 2016

Start Point

Walked around the point, on the sea close to shore was a single adult Common Scoter, 2 Kestrels, 1 Raven, 1 Wheatear, 1 Sanderling on Mattiscombe sand and a pair of Rock Pipits on the cliffs there.

Posted August 9th, 2016 at 7:47 pm by Elliot Dowding in General Birding

R.Yealm Puslinch

High tide. 9 Greenshank, 47 Curlew, 5 Shelduck, 2 Swift, 2 Swallow, House martin, 4 Jay, 6 Little Egret, Stock Dove,  30+ Canada, numerous Black headed gulls. 2 Silver-washed frittilary.

Posted August 9th, 2016 at 7:15 pm by Jeremy Spooner in General Birding

Wembury, 8th August

A sanderling on the main beach at Wembury yesterday despite the crowds of holiday makers, feeding along the tideline and surprisingly easy to overlook or lose sight of due to its cryptic plumage patterning. Unfazed by nearby people and seen down to a few metres.

Sanderling on the beach
Sanderling on the beach

Posted August 9th, 2016 at 6:01 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Wembury, 8th August

Despite the crowds of holiday makers on the main beach at Wembury this sanderling was busily feeding along the tide line oblivious to people nearby and seen down to a few metres. It was surprisingly easy to overlook it or lose sight of it against the pebbles and seaweed with its cryptic plumage patterning. 

Posted August 9th, 2016 at 5:57 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Morte Point

Spotted Flycatcher on Morte Point this morning.

Spotted Flycatcher

Posted August 9th, 2016 at 2:54 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

late swifts

South Molton, Monday 8th Aug: 9 pm Four swifts flying, chasing and screaming

Posted August 9th, 2016 at 10:25 am by arthur symons in General Birding

South Efford Marsh,

A first light visit to South Efford Marsh, Aveton Gifford this morning, on the way down to the village a male Yellow Hammer.

Little Egrets in good numbers at least 16, Heron 3, adult Shellduck with four juveniles, two juvenile Buzzards calling, Jay, several Curlew, a single Ringed Plover, Stock Dove 2, a single Teal, 65+ Mallard lifted off of the marsh at one point, Common Sandpiper in double figures the most I have seen at this location with birds on both the marsh and the river, 31+ Black Headed Gulls.

The high light being the reported Spotted Sandpiper, very distant and difficult to pick out but it showed periodically.

The marsh was alive with Wagtails mostly Pieds constantly in view and continuous movement during the visit with the odd Grey seen as well.

On the way out Swallows began to trickle over the marsh feeding with a single House Martin, three Wren and a single Kingfisher.

Posted August 9th, 2016 at 8:50 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Monday 8th August 2016

East Soar

Migrant counts of Wheatear, 21 Whitethroat, 4 Willow Warbler, 21 Swift, c.300 House Martin & 150 Swallow. Several Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries on wing.

Posted August 8th, 2016 at 2:07 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

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