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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Wednesday 21st September 2016

Bowling Green Marsh

Viewed over the morning high-tide.

From the hide Little Stint, 3-Curlew Sandpipers, Common Sandpiper, 4-Knot, 2-Grey Plover, 5-Ringed Plovers, Ruff, Snipe, 7-Greenshank, 14-Bar-tailed Godwits, 2-Whimbrel, 12-Lapwing, Little Gull, Sandwich Tern, ad/w Mediterranean Gull, Common Gull, 13-Pintail, Wheatear, Osprey over marsh putting up all the birds before drifting high eastwards amongst the usual large numbers of waders and ducks.

From Goosemoor 33-Greenshank, c14-Lapwing and Snipe.

From the viewing platform Osprey fishing near riversmeet house, Spotted Redshank, Kingfisher, Golden Plover, 13-Grey Plover, 3-Curlew Sandpipers seen earlier from the hide, 3-Sandwich Terns, c50-Oystercatchers and Great Crested Grebe.

Mediterranean GullWheatear

Great Crested Grebe


Posted September 21st, 2016 at 8:36 pm by David Boult in General Birding

morte point- mortehoe

3 wheatear,7 gannets over a small pod of porpoise,1bull seal and two young females which eventually hauled up at low tide.

Posted September 21st, 2016 at 5:12 pm by John and Jenny elvin in General Birding

Teign Estuary

An Osprey caught a fish between Passage House and Netherton Point at 14:25 and flew off NE up into the hills with it. Also, 14 Greenshank, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Common Sandpipers and 81 Curlew.

Posted September 21st, 2016 at 3:49 pm by Laurie Allnatt in General Birding

Northam Burrows - high tide roost - 21/09/16

The late morning roost had an interesting mix today, with a few new arrivals joining the "regulars".  At least one adult Mediterranean Gull in full winter plumage was amongst the Black-headed and Herring Gulls, and I think there were two further immature Med. Gulls present, but could not get a definitive view due to "packing".  Six Golden Plover and a trio of Bar-tailed Godwits were tucked in amongst the group, as were three Dark-bellied Brants .  Curlew numbers have been steady all through the summer at around 60 present, and Oystercatchers remain at about 30, 

Posted September 21st, 2016 at 3:19 pm by Tony Mercer in General Birding

Tuesday 20th September 2016

Another Lesser Yellowlegs ?

Walked around Horsey Island & Braunton Marsh this afternoon - saw what looks like a Lesser Yellowlegs on the scrape near the "White House" at around 1.00pm - (took some not very good pics - attached). If it is a LY is it the same one from Fremington Quay or could it be a second bird ?  EDS: Yes that's a Lesser Yellowlegs, nice photos.

Possible Lesser Yellowlegs
Possible Lesser Yellowlegs

Possible Lesser Yellowlegs
Possible Lesser Yellowlegs


Posted September 20th, 2016 at 7:30 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Lesser Grey Shrike

Showing well on coast path just past curved block of flats, at Mount Batton this morning. Adult Lesser Grey Shrilke

Posted September 20th, 2016 at 12:30 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Monday 19th September 2016

Kingsbridge Estuary

Had a great few hours in the hide at Charleton Marsh this afternoon despite it being low tide. Finally got an Osprey for the year when one appeared over Lincombe Woods and circled high to about 500 metres when I took my eye of it and lost it. A juvenile Marsh Harrier was quartering the marsh on and off 15:00-15:15. Last seen 15:30 disappearing up South Pool Creek presumably headed towards Slapton. Also saw a Black Tern around the Saltstone and was able to count at least 43 Med Gulls in Lincombe Bay ( the light was so pristine this afternoon it made my scope more like the hubble space telescope ). On the marsh 4 Snipe flushed by the Harrier, Water Rail heard, Kingfisher and Whinchat. Short clip of the Harrier here

Posted September 19th, 2016 at 9:07 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Beesands Ley

Did the WeBS count today, 18 Gadwall present which is a vast improvement on recent times ( I once managed a complete blank here on all species). About 25% of the water surface has some kind of algal weed on it and its increasing. When  this happened at Slapton 3 years ago it held loads of wildfowl through winter 13/14. Hopefully Beesands might go a similar way. For anyone who has sensibly given up looking here in recent winters it might be worth calling in again

Posted September 19th, 2016 at 8:57 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

LG Shrike - Plymouth

Can one have too many Shrike pics?? Showing well till 17.40 at least. Not going to win any prizes but proof of a bird that has evaded me worldwide for some years!

Posted September 19th, 2016 at 7:05 pm by Richard Billington in General Birding

Bowling Green

3 Snipe now

Posted September 19th, 2016 at 1:16 pm by Rob Barnes in General Birding

Holdstone Down Exmoor

We walked Holdstone Down to Trentishoe and back on Saturday. We had a female Redstart and lovely large male Wheater on Holdstone. Assuming the Wheater was a Greenland. Lots of Swallows, Stonechat families and a few Gannets out on the water. Further along  the cliffs a lone seal bottling.

Posted September 19th, 2016 at 10:42 am by KarenSims& John Towers in General Birding

Prawle Reserve - Maintenance work

Essential maintenance work will start at the Prawle Reserve on 21 September.  A contractor will be replacing the dilapidated wooden boardwalk with a stone path.  He will also be clearing the stream and digging a deep sump to reduce the risk of water overflowing into the access road during winter storms.

Members will still be able to enter the reserve but there will inevitably be some disturbance; apologies for any inconvenience.  The work is scheduled to be completed by the end of the week.

Posted September 19th, 2016 at 9:20 am by Nick Townsend in General Birding

Sunday 18th September 2016

Holdstone down exmoor

A mid morning walk today provided many hundreds of swallows and house Martins mixed together, swallows skimming the moorland heather and gorse. Other than this very quiet 3 meadow pipits, 4 wrens 2 chaffinch, 2 stone chat and a pair of buzzards. 

Posted September 18th, 2016 at 8:07 pm by philip worth in General Birding


Watched from 08:05 till 13:30

Goosemoor  held 3 snipe, 24 greenshank, 5 juv ruff, 1 dunlin, 6 redshank, 5 black tailed godwit, 4 little egret.

the goatwalk produced 2 osprey ( 1 well down the estuary before heading towards Holden , the other flew into trees behind turf, 2 sandwich terns, peregrine.

bowling green marsh viewing platform produced 3 more osprey, 1 kingfisher, 2 common sandpiper.

all day there was a steady movement over head with birds heading west and north 40+ buzzards and at least 6 sparrowhawks, 1 kestrel, 40+ skylarks and at least 200+ meadow pipits, grounded birds included 12+ chiffchaffs, 1 willow warbler, 6 blackcaps, 10+ goldcrests.

from the hide bowling green marsh , 150+ wigeon, 40+ pintail, 10 ringed plover, 50+ dunlin, 240+ redshanks, , 13+ greenshanks, 8+ bar tailed godwits, 400+ black tailed godwits, 2 whimbrel, 200+ curlew, 2 reed buntings, 400+ teal, 20+ lapwing, 2 knot.

Posted September 18th, 2016 at 7:29 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding


A pleasant couple of hours today at Soar. The only birds to add to Pete's list from this site on Saturday were, 2 Kestrels, at least 8 Yellow Wagtails and a Wryneck at the foot of Starehole Valley. (Pictures obtained)

Posted September 18th, 2016 at 4:54 pm by Tor Elm in General Birding

Strete Gate

Enjoying a BBQ Friday evening at Strete Gate, just after dusk we enjoyed a brief sighting of a nightjar - the hawk like bird in silhouette silently flitted around the back of the beach.

Posted September 18th, 2016 at 7:42 am by Nick Cotter in General Birding

Saturday 17th September 2016

16-09-16 Hobby @ West Charleton Marsh

16-09-16 A Hobby flying over West Charleton Marsh looking for a kill, stayed for a while then chased off by crows

Eds: this is actually a juvenile Peregrine. Its too stocky and moustache is a different shape on Hobby, which would also show a different tail shape (slightly wedged) and bolder flank stripes than this bird.

Posted September 17th, 2016 at 7:43 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

South Efford Marsh

1 juv Pectoral Sandpiper finally pinned down after a game of cat and mouse. Showed well 4.30 to 5.30 pm. Viewable from cattle pens by the entrance to the marsh on the pools in the field to the left but difficult. There's no access to this part of the marsh and beware of the bull, he's a lively fellow! Also here today: 4 Ruff, 4 Greenshank, 2 Green Sandpipers etc

Posted September 17th, 2016 at 7:37 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Osprey on the Tamar

Osprey fishing on the river Tamar and up the river Tavy today, seen from railway bridge crossing at Warleigh Woods. Great views as it hovered and dives down after the fish.Dead low water when it was fishing.

Osprey, Tamar, 17.9.16 Barry Rankine

Lots of Partridges and Red-legged Partridge nearly blocking the road from Lopwell Dam till Tamerton Village.


Posted September 17th, 2016 at 5:19 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Friday 16th September 2016

Ravens on Dartmoor.

At least 25 Ravens circling between Hart tor and Black tor today. Probably something to do with the strong aroma of dead sheep drifting up from the river Meavy valley. 

Posted September 16th, 2016 at 5:05 pm by David Turrell in General Birding

Fremington Pill

Lesser Yellowlegs & Glossy Ibis at the Pill this morning. 08.30

Posted September 16th, 2016 at 8:33 am by Dave Paterson in General Birding

Wembury Sept.15th

3 whinchats together in the hedgerow near the sewage farm , 1 ringed plover, 2 bar tailed godwits and 4 little egrets on the rocks with oystercatchers, juvenile wheatear along the beach.

Posted September 16th, 2016 at 12:14 am by Stuart Green in General Birding

Thursday 15th September 2016

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 15:30 till 19:15

1 juv little stint was new in among 450+ dunlin, 8+ curlew sandpiper, 10 juv grey plover dropped in for a bit , 5 avocet, 3 juv ruff, 1 juv garganey, 15+ ringed plover, 2 whimbrel, 5 knot, 8+ bar tailed godwit, good numbers of redshank, curlew and black tailed godwits, 3 greenshank, 32+ pintail, 80+ wigeon, 6+ buzzard.

Posted September 15th, 2016 at 9:09 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

lundy island

O..utward trip gannets and dolphin onthe island spotted flycatcher,wheatear,larks willow warbler seals raven,female blackcap, met members of Devon birds who had seen 2wryneck at Millcombe.lovely day

Posted September 15th, 2016 at 7:26 pm by jenny and John Elvin in General Birding

South Efford Marsh

Fairly quiet 1400 -1700hrs, that is if you discount the noise made by 300+ Canada Geese! No sign of the Pectoral Sandpiper seen yesterday afternoon by Eric Wotten. 9 Common Sandpiper together on the estuary, 5 Greenshank and 4 Ruff on the Marsh.

Posted September 15th, 2016 at 6:42 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Lesser Yellowlegs in North Devon (somehwere!)

Posted September 15th, 2016 at 6:19 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Beer Head

Since I was passing through East Devon this pm, I stopped off to look at the Juvenile Red-backed Shrike. This was showing really well. A stunning bird. What was equally amazing however was the Swallow passage. Based on a series of one minutes counts ranging from 50 to 200, then average number passing per minute was 105. Times this by 90 minutes equals 9000+ Swallows between 2.30 & 4.00 pm and maybe 200+ House Martin's. It is a long time since I have witnessed that sort of movement. They were passing at the same rate the whole time. How many for the day?

Backup cast. Three Wheatears, incl a male bird, Whinchat and Ad Yellow Wagtail. 

Posted September 15th, 2016 at 6:06 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Skern, Northam Burrows

Quick check of building high-tide roost, highlights in half an hour were 2 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and 6 Knot, plus the German-ringed Curlew still present. Very few Oystercatcher and no Black-tailed Godwit or Whimbrel visible.

Posted September 15th, 2016 at 4:56 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Fernworthy Reservoir & Forest

14-09-16: Late Post

House Martins over Reservoir & Forest (1000+), Swallows (100). Also on walk Peregrine Falcon.

Posted September 15th, 2016 at 2:38 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in General Birding

Lopwell Dam 15-09-16

Osprey sighted at 0940 flying down river. Also Kingfisher, Common Sandpiper (6), Little Grebe (2).

Posted September 15th, 2016 at 2:27 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in General Birding

orcombe exmouth

visited orcombe from 08;30 to 09:45 this morning birds seen 20+yellow wagtails,15 wheaters,9 meadow pipits and upto 30 swallows

Posted September 15th, 2016 at 1:24 pm by Tom Jurd in General Birding

Late post Weds 14th Sept

4 Sightings of Osprey from Powderham foot/cycle bridge between 5&6pm - Possibly same bird ??

Posted September 15th, 2016 at 10:19 am by Bob Reeves in General Birding

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