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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Friday 30th September 2016

Exe Est - Osprey

Osprey seen this afternoon - Stephen Huggins

Posted September 30th, 2016 at 9:17 pm in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 15:30 till 18:40

from viewing platform distant osprey of starcross headed into Powderham, 1 peregrine, 80+ grey plover, 30+ knot.

from the hide 7+ curlew sandpiper among 180+ dunlin

Posted September 30th, 2016 at 9:13 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

great egret

The rspb at ham wall on the Somerset levels wondered if anyone had a shot of the great egret and what colour the rings were.

Posted September 30th, 2016 at 8:31 pm by jenny and John Elvin in General Birding

Coast to Moor

Thursday 29th September ~ A visit to the Rv Tavy in the area round the Lopwell Dam on a low tide, 1 Grey Wagtail, several Pied Wagtails, 8 Buzzard four either side of the dam, 3 Little Egret, 1 Red Legged Partridge, 2 Little Grebe, 2 Cormorant, 2 Common Sandpiper and two very large flocks of migrating Swallows very high and only picked up in the binoculars while watching the Buzzards soaring.

Three Jays seen at Wrangaton with singles seen at Plympton, Tamerton Folliot and Lee Mill.

Friday 30th September ~ Marine Parade Paignton, Turnstones showing well.

Berry Head a sea watch produced very little, six Gannets in view at one point, 50 plus Meadow Pipits coming in off of the sea all along the headland, a few high flying Swallows, two Wheatear one being very confiding. Three greater Black Backed Gulls, Goldfinch 13, Linnets 11, Magpies 10+.


An afternoon walk up to the Avon Dam from Shipley Bridge following yesterdays reported Osprey, failed to find any sign of the Osprey and birds were very thin on the ground generally with very little bird song until the approach to the dam itself.

Stonechats and Meadow Pipits in good numbers, the odd Wren, six Kestrel sightings which I suspect relate to three birds moving up and down the valley, one female Peregrine, two Raven, three Buzzard, Goldfinch, Robin, Blackbird, two Dipper, three Herring Gulls, light passage of Swallows, six Mallard on the reservoir  itself.

Kestrel hunting Pied Wagtails on the face of the dam, Grey Wagtail on the river.

At home Three Buzzard soaring in company with two Raven and around my feed station tree a very aggressive Chiffchaff not wanting to share the tree with any other birds.


Posted September 30th, 2016 at 6:16 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Wryneck at Higher Piles Copse

Wryneck flushed into a hawthorn this afternoon near the southern edge of Higher Piles Copse on Harford Moor, Dartmoor, then dropped down to feed among stands of old bracken. Not what we were expecting so far from the coast, but a nice surprise.

Posted September 30th, 2016 at 3:29 pm by Richard Archer in General Birding

Bursdon Moor, NW Devon.

1 male Merlin and 2 Whinchats on the moor late morning plus several Meadow Pipits apparently moving south.

Harvey Kendall

Posted September 30th, 2016 at 2:36 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Ford Park Cemetery, Plymouth

The first Firecrest of the Autumn has arrived this morning 

Posted September 30th, 2016 at 8:50 am by Tor Elm in General Birding

Thursday 29th September 2016


Watched from 15:10 till 18:50

Started at Topsham Quay and at about 15:20 was alerted to a bird of prey being mobbed by a group of carrion crows got my bins on it and surprised to find a juv/ female marsh harrier it was harassed over to exminster marsh seemed to head out over Powderham heading high south west , a quick stop at the goatwalk produced , 1 sanderling , 53+ knot, 400+ dunlin, 3 juv curlew sandpiper  4 golden plover.

then on to the viewing platform at the bowling green marsh, at 15:50 picked up an osprey just of starcross it flew up the estuary heading towards turf  , 70+ grey plover, 1 turnstone, 2 yellow wagtail over, 1 Cetti's warbler.

between the viewing platform and the hide12+ chiffchaffs , 3 willow warblers.

from the hide, 6 juv curlew sandpipers, 4 juv ruff( 1 male 3 female), 30+ bar tailed godwits, the 53 knot from the estuary flew in, as did the turnstone, also 3 whimbrel  6 grey plover, 320+ dunlin, 340+ curlew, 800+ black tailed godwits, 171+ pintail, 720+ wigeon, still large number of teal, 20+ lapwing , 4 buzzards, 1 sparrowhawk , 1 grey wagtail over  8+ chiffchaffs.

finished the afternoon with a walk back down the lane to the goatwalk , large group of long tailed tits also ng the lane 25+ included lots of warblers on checking the majority were chiffchaffs at least 30+ and 6+ willow warblers, 5+ goldcrests, a good way to end the day .


Posted September 29th, 2016 at 8:49 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Labrador Bay

30 - 40 Barn Swallows moving west at about 6pm. Plus 30+ Gannets fishing off-shore and a flock of 20+ Goldfinches feeding on thistles.

Posted September 29th, 2016 at 7:30 pm by Roger Duggleby in General Birding

Start Point

A quiet seawatch between 8.45 and 11.15. 2 Balaeric Shearwaters, 2 Common Scoter, 5 Kittiwakes, 48 Guillemots, 2 Razorbills.

2 Wheatears at the point, Hobby over the Car Park and headed off towards Hallsands at 11.45, c.150 Swallows, 20 House Martins and 4 Chiffchaff.

Many (>30) Red Admirals heading south west once the sun came out.

Posted September 29th, 2016 at 5:07 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Lesser Grey Shrike (Update)

After finding the LGS preening in bushes above the Lions Den on Plymouth Hoe, I then watched him fly low around the front of the Corinthian Yacht Club and hopefully, to the ivy below Duttons Cafe. Alas, I have spent the best part of 2 hours lookng for the little fella but I have been unable to find him again. My gut feeling is that he could have popped back over to Mountbatten and we shall have to hope that somebody else finds him again soon. Whilst around Mountbatten on Tuesday, we were reliably informed that the LGS was seen in the area on Monday evening (26th) despite not being listed anywhere. For any birders who might not have seen the bird yet, don't give up hope. He hasn't gone for good just yet!

Posted September 29th, 2016 at 4:54 pm by Tor Elm in General Birding

Shipley Bridge- Avon Dam

1100 -  1420hrs 2 Kestrel, 2 Buzzard, Peregrine chasing a small bird and to complete the day a surprise Osprey working over the Dam at 1300hrs. Other birds included a dipper, grey wagtail, several stonechats and a few chiffchaff

Posted September 29th, 2016 at 4:44 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Osprey sighting

Osprey sighted circling above trees across road from River Teign Bishopsteignton side Saturday 24th September at 12 noon. Mobbed by crows when it moved to roost. had previously been seen at this spot.

Posted September 29th, 2016 at 9:41 am by Jeanne Silvestri in General Birding

Wednesday 28th September 2016

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 15:00 till 18:35

A good afternoon around the marsh with 6+ juv curlew sandpiper, 44+ knot, 270+ dunlin, 2 juv ruff, 26+ bar tailed godwits, 750+ black tailed godwits, 14+ greenshank, 200+ redshank, 2+ whimbrel  220+ curlew. 1 common sandpiper, 15+ lapwing.

Big increase in wildfowl with my highest ever count of 235+ pintail , the supporting cast was 831+ wigeon , 768+ teal, with a few shoveler and mallards, 6+ little egrets, 2 grey heron, no sign of the warbler from yesterday but at least 3 groups of long tailed tits around the marsh with a few chiffchaff and goldcrests.

Posted September 28th, 2016 at 8:04 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Teign Estuary - Coombe Cellars

2 late Barn Swallows, heading west at about 5pm.

Posted September 28th, 2016 at 5:59 pm by Roger Duggleby in General Birding

Tuesday 27th September 2016

Hembury Woods

Hembury Woods, late afternoon: 13 Mandarin Ducks (5 males) in a nice little flock on the river.

Posted September 27th, 2016 at 10:17 pm by And Smith in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from  15:20 till 18:35

from the hide 4 juv curlew sandpiper among 220+ dunlin, 19+ bar tailed godwits, 1 common sandpiper, 1 white wagtail, 95+ pintail, 320+ wigeon, good numbers of redshank, curlew and black tailed godwits, 4+ whimbrel , 1 great spotted woodpecker, 4+ buzzard.

a quick look on goosemoor produced 19+ greenshank but more interesting was a mixed group of long tailed tits, blue tits  with 6+ warblers among them ( 1 very bright willow warbler , 4 + chiffchaffs , 1 unidentified warbler very brief views seemed smaller than the other warblers and the general jizz of the bird just didn't feel right for chiffchaff or willow warbler the group disappeared along the railway line and seemed to head into bowling green marsh despite searching couldn't find the group again  one of those birds that gets away just couldn't get good enough views of the bird.) also 3+ goldcrests .

Posted September 27th, 2016 at 9:18 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Teign estuary ~ Passage House & Shaldon bridge

Not a great deal to be seen at the Passage House on a rising tide, one Lesser Black Backed Gull with a Greater Black Back flying overhead, Cormorant, Buzzard, Kingfisher, two Stock Doves, several Pied Wagtails.

Below Shaldon Bridge three Sandwich Terns,eight plus Cormorant, twelve Mute Swan, six plus Little Egret and one Buzzard.

At home the morning gave a flock of 38 Goldfinch, a small number of Mistle Thrush and a Nuthatch on the garden feeders only the forth one I have seen around the garden this year.


Posted September 27th, 2016 at 9:09 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Strete to Slapton

15.10 to 17.40 - Steady passage of Swallows along the coast with 400+. 12 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcap (m,f), 4 Stonechats. 2 Cettis warblers and 1 Water Rail by Slapton Bridge.

4 Common Scoter on the sea north of Strete gate car park, 28 Ringed Plovers, 1 Sanderling and 1 Grey Plover on the beach between Strete Gate and Memorial Car Park.

Posted September 27th, 2016 at 8:03 pm by Douglas Stannard in General Birding

Lopwell dam

Osprey flew up from the Tamar around 6pm and then back down towards the railway bridge about 20 minutes later where it attempted to fish without success. Kingfisher and 3 Common Sandpipers also seen.

Posted September 27th, 2016 at 7:32 pm by Rob Hubble and Stella Tracey in General Birding


27 Chiffchaff flew out of the weeping willow in the garden and down to the Ley to roost 6.15 pm Monday 26th. 

Posted September 27th, 2016 at 7:03 pm by Steve Wadsworth in General Birding

Is it possible?

Could I have seen a Little Auk on the Exe estuary from boat above Exmouth today 27/09/16?

Eds: Unlikely (but not entirely impossible), a bit too early for Little Auks, usually late October on.

Posted September 27th, 2016 at 4:30 pm by R. Robson in General Birding

Monday 26th September 2016

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 15:10 till 16:30

2 juv curlew sandpiper were in among 55+ dunlin, the turnstone flew of down the estuary , 80+ pintail, 4+ whimbrel, 10+ bar tailed godwits , good number of curlew, redshank and black tailed godwits, still good numbers of teal and mallard , wigeon and shoveler, 12+ lapwing , 1 common sandpiper. 

Posted September 26th, 2016 at 6:33 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

This lunchtime there were 2 unusual birds for the marsh. A Turnstone was hiding amongst the Redshank flock at the back of the mark. Also an eclipse drake Mandarin was on the mud on the right hand side of the channel from the hide. Otherwise good numbers of ducks and 1 Mediterranean Gull amongst the Black-headed Gulls.

Posted September 26th, 2016 at 2:43 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Sunday 25th September 2016

Ridge above Labrador Bay

One juvenile hobby

Posted September 25th, 2016 at 7:55 pm by Adam davison in General Birding

Hope's Nose, yesterday

Some pictures from yesterday's seawatch.

Balearic Shearwater
Balearic Shearwater

Juvenile Common Tern
Juvenile Common Tern


Posted September 25th, 2016 at 4:15 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Exe to the Tamar

A very good birding day which started with a visit to the Exe estuary visiting Bowling Green Marsh at first light, the Viewing platform, Goatwalk and various spots in Topsham overlooking the river.

BGM is holding a large number of wading species a growing number of Teal, a huge flock of Black Headed Gulls dropped in, several Lapwings and a Common sandpiper close to the hide in the first channel.

Distant views from the viewing platform the closer waders being predominantly Redshank.

The Goat Walk gave views of a 60 plus flock of Dunlin, Godwits and a number of Heron.

Around Topsham good numbers of Black Tailed Godwits including a bird tag ringed both legs yellow over red.

An enjoyable visiting without seeing anything overly exciting.

This afternoon took me close to the Devon / Cornwall border above Plymouth, a first time visit to this area, male Kestrel hunting near the A386, Stonechat and Meadow Pipits in the same area.

Followed by Pied Wagtails, 4 Mute Swan, 9 Mallard, 3 Little Grebe, 2 Common Sandpiper, Kingfisher, 3 Buzzard, Little Egret, 2 Cormorant, but the real buzz came when a juvenile female Peregrine Falcon came into view and over the next 30 minutes jostled with Buzzard, Raven and a juvenile Goshawk, an Osprey showed very briefly and the visit ended with a fly past from a Sparrow Hawk.



Posted September 25th, 2016 at 3:51 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


The Lesser Yellow Legs and Glossy Ibis were showing well for us, as the tide was on the turn when we arrived, the Lesser Yellow Legs was feeding on the mud bank near the road. Four lovely greenshank, two dunlin and a whole gang of Redshank. Nice area.

Lesser Yellow Legs
Lesser Yellow Legs

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis


Posted September 25th, 2016 at 3:49 pm by stephanie murphy in General Birding

River Teign, Coombe Celllars

11.20 am. Osprey flying upriver from Shaldon, being harassed by gulls. Disappeared into trees opposite Coombe Cellars. Other raptors included Sparrowhawk, Male Kestrel and two Buzzards.

Posted September 25th, 2016 at 2:57 pm by stephanie murphy in General Birding

Arlington Court - North Devon

Great White Egret in lower lake on the estate.

Posted September 25th, 2016 at 1:11 pm by John Bronze in General Birding

River Teign

still 2 Ospreys on river

Posted September 25th, 2016 at 11:31 am by Keith McGinn in General Birding

Saturday 24th September 2016

Hope's Nose, Torquay

Seawatch 07.10-16.10, Chris & Janet Proctor, Simon Geary. Counts all flying south: 3 manx shearwaters, 16 Balearic shearwaters, 2 sooty shearwaters, 1 fulmar, 1 small petrel (storm?), 1 common scoter, 7 wigeon, 2 knot (flew onto rocks), 6 turnstones (+ 1 on rocks), 2 guillemots, 31 razorbill, 18 auk sp., 20 kittiwake, 1 little gull, 2 common terns, 1 bonxie, 3 smaller skuas (cf arctic), 4 swallows (flew onto land).

Posted September 24th, 2016 at 10:08 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 07:30 till 14:00

A build up in wildfowl with 668+ teal, 173+ pintail, 215+ wigeon , 25+ shoveler, 55+ mallard, 1 curlew sandpiper among 150+ dunlin, 3+ grey plover, 10+ ringed plover, 4+ whimbrel, 16+ bar tailed godwits, 620+ black tailed godwits, 160+ curlew, 17+ lapwing, 200+ redshank, 1 common sandpiper, 1 adult Mediterranean gull, 1 common gull, 1300+ black headed gulls, 1 lesser black backed gull, 1 greater black backed gull, 2 grey wagtail, a few meadow pipit and skylark over, 4 buzzards, 1 sparrowhawk.

on goosemoor 41+ greenshank, 1 common sandpiper.

Posted September 24th, 2016 at 7:42 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Lopwell Osprey

Spent the morning at Lopwell Dam on the R Tavy hoping for good views of the Osprey. Saw it twice at distance (see attached record shots) but no close or fishing shots unfortunately




Posted September 24th, 2016 at 5:51 pm by Andy Brown in General Birding

Juvenile Woodchat Shrike

24th Sept 2016 Juvenile Woodchat Shrike at South Efford Marsh this morning, flew out of reserve and over the Avon bridge. Not picked up again as yet

Record shots  distance kept as bird was very flighty

Record shots distance kept as bird was very flighty

Posted September 24th, 2016 at 3:53 pm by Barry Rankineb in General Birding

South Efford Marsh

South Efford, 1 juv Woodchat Shrike (found by Eric Wotton earlier in the morning) showing well until around 11.15am.

Posted September 24th, 2016 at 1:01 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

South Efford

South Efford, evening, Friday 23rd, low tide: 2 Ruff (1m, 1f), 3 Green Sandpiper, 5 Common Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank, 1 Black-tiailed Godwit, 10 Curlew, 130 Teal, 1Peregrine and 2 Kingfishers.

Posted September 24th, 2016 at 6:39 am by Andy Smith in General Birding

Friday 23rd September 2016

23-09-16 Is this a Merlin ??

Not too sure if this a Merlin or not, but the feather pattern seems to match, taken over Slapton Ley today 23-09-16

Eds: no its a Kestrel. Merlins look more compact, bolder streaking, more pointed wings.

Posted September 23rd, 2016 at 9:03 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

River Teign

2 Ospreys hunting the river all the way from Shaldon bridge to the passage house inn often both in the air together.  between 3-30 and 5-00 pm.

Posted September 23rd, 2016 at 8:40 pm by Keith McGinn in General Birding


One osprey over the Exe Thursday evening. 

Posted September 23rd, 2016 at 3:40 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Fremington Pil

Glossy Ibis, Lsr Yellowlegs & Little Egret. Last day of the summer....?

Glossy Ibis

Lesser Yellowlegs
                        Glossy Ibis

                                                                                                                      Lesser Yellowlegs


Little Egret
Little Egret

Posted September 23rd, 2016 at 3:31 pm by Dritree in General Birding

Lesser Grey Shrike,Jennycliff,Plymouth

Lesser Grey shrike showing well this morning at Jennycliff in bushes below large coast path marker stone between Jennycliff cafe and curved block of flats.

Also 2 ravens and 2 grey wagtails over, 1 adult winter plumage Mediterranean gull and 1 noisy ad and 1 juv Sandwich tern.

1 firecrest in row of small pine trees near Mount Batten pub was a nice surprise.

Posted September 23rd, 2016 at 12:23 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding


A check of the saltings during the 2 hours before High Water this morning did not reveal the five Lapland Buntings seen yesterday.  Unusually for me, two raptor species were seen - a Peregrine being mobbed by corvids over the golf course, and later, a juvenile Merlin was spotted resting in the Salicornia beds.  It didn't move for at least 40 minutes, and then hopped after any Linnets which came within range! I've never seen one do that before  It was eventually chased away by  several corvids.  Good movement of Meadow Pipits early on, with just over 120 passing during 0915-1000hrs.

Posted September 23rd, 2016 at 11:55 am by Tony Mercer in General Birding


One early Brent Goose seen on the Skern this morning by Ann Wells.


Posted September 23rd, 2016 at 11:15 am in General Birding

Fremington Pill

Glossy Ibis & Lesser Yellowlegs both at the pill this morning 09.30.

Posted September 23rd, 2016 at 10:58 am by David Paterson in General Birding

Thursday 22nd September 2016

Osprey Maristow Quay Lopwell area

Still around our local area.  Flew up river today past The Old Pump House café and later watched it perched in a tree in Blaxton Woods a few hundred meters down river of Maristow Quay, took flight then dived straight into the river, but missed its prey.  It then had another unsuccessful dive, then flew off towards Warleigh.

Posted September 22nd, 2016 at 7:47 pm by Shane Willson in General Birding

Lesser grey shrike

Taken this afternoon same location between Mountbatten and Jennycliff.

Lesser Grey Shrike
Lesser Grey Shrike

Posted September 22nd, 2016 at 5:50 pm by Vince Bedford in General Birding

West Charleton marsh

Osprey came very close to hide at 9.50 am and then flew over and towards Kingsbridge.  Plenty of other birds to view including a whimbrel, blackcap and chiffchaff and the water rail was heard.

Posted September 22nd, 2016 at 5:29 pm by lesley goonesekera in General Birding

Exminster Lions Rest - Wheatear

6 Wheatear between the Lion Rest Industrial Estate and the Motorway bridge between 9.00am and 10.00 am

Posted September 22nd, 2016 at 9:38 am by Tony D-C in General Birding

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