Devon Bird Sightings

Breeding Birds

Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Many of these receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young. 

You should also apply these principles to vulnerable species without the wider legal protection. 

Although some species may be found breeding at numerous locations, please keep information about them limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting and Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and, as appropriate, the RSPB

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of disturbance and persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds. Unfortuately this can involve people wanting to photograph or obtain close views of the  birds, as well as eg egg collectors. 

Every year editors on this site have to remove or edit posts which breach the code outlined here. Please play your part in making this unnecessary. 

Thank you.

Posted March 20th at 3:43 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Please take extra care when visiting Dawlish Warren. We have been informed that due to the recent bad weather there has been significant erosion from Groyne 10 eastwards. This means that access along the site, to and from Warren Point (and the bird hide) will be via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! Signs have been put up to alert people to the hazards, but people need to be aware that access routes that they have become used to may not be available and they need to exercise extreme caution,  with the possibility of being cut off by the tide, and people are strongly urged not to try climbing the sand cliffs. Further information is available on the Teignbridge District Council website.

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 11:08 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding


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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Friday 24th May 2019

Barn Owl - Velator

Beautiful evening view of a Barn Owl hunting in the area for quite sometime.

Posted 9:55 pm by Beth woollam in General Birding

Berry Head kayak trip

One pack of 15 Manx Shearwaters.

Pleasant mugshot of very inquisitive Guillemot.

plus: 6 Harbour porpoise, 2 Barrel Jellyfish


Posted 8:03 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in General Birding

Red KIte

1 Red Kite over St. Giles on the Heath this afternoon.

Posted 5:56 pm by Adrian Davey in General Birding

Yarner Wood

Highlights of a pre-breakfast visit this morning were 10 Pied Flycatchers (3 females & 7 males, including 2 pairs feeding young in nest boxes) and 3 Redstarts (2 females & a male). Also: 1 or 2 Spotted Flycatchers, Siskin, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Green Woodpecker, 3 Marsh Tits & a pair of Grey Wagtails.  

Posted 5:51 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Fernworthy Res, mid devon field meeting

the weather was good for birding, 34 birds seen in total,  the best  sightings were of spotted flycatcher, pied flycatcher,  black cap, redstart and  a tree pipit, plus a garden warbler and whitethroat when i first arrived.  in front the fishermans hut we also had a female gadwall with three youngsters diving for food.  a good day out.

Posted 3:44 pm by roger jewell in General Birding

Purple Sandpiper - Torquay

Still a solitary Purple Sandpiper on Haldon Pier, TQ Harbour this morning, plus 6 Turnstone. Looks as if this one is planning a summer on the Riviera.

Posted 12:25 pm by CLIFF PARROTT in General Birding

Taw Osprey

Thursday from 5 pm to 6.30. Scottish Osprey feeding first on sandbank between Chivenor and Isley/Marsh Farm then moved to field on farm. Seen 3 times since May 11th in same area. Trying to get clear shot of ring!! 

Osprey Home Marsh Farm
Osprey Home Marsh Farm

Eds: don't say this very often - but what a great photo!

Posted 11:51 am by Sue Ambler in General Birding

Late Post - Wrafton Pond & around & about!

3 juvenile Moorhens with adult birds close at hand collecting food items.

While sitting on a bench this skylark approached only a few metres away.


Posted 11:31 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Prawle Point

05:45-07:00: Very quiet but wasn't expecting much! Single Great Nothern Diver, 3 Manx Shearwater and 6 Canada Goose west, 8 Common Scoter east.  Lots of auks, mostly Guillemot, and Gannet mainly flying west too.

Good selection of warblers, tits, finches and buntings singing in the bushes, and several Swallow hanging around.  Single male Stonechat also.

Posted 10:40 am by Nigel Sluman in General Birding

Cuckoo ~ South Brent

A Cuckoo calling on the village side of Brent Hill, South Brent, in the 30 plus years that I have lived here I have never known or heard of one at this location.

Posted 9:30 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Thursday 23rd May 2019

Red Kite

At Bowling Green Marsh this lunchtime around 13:00 a single Red Kite drifted over Exton area heading east.  May have been the same one posted at Paignton and then Starcross.

Posted yesterday at 9:28 pm by chris marcol in General Birding

Plymbridge Wood

Fledgling Great Tit , Great Spotted Woodpecker and female Mandarin Duck with ducklings.

Fledgling Great TitGreat Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Mandarin Duck and ducklings
Fledgling Great Tit               Great Spotted Woodpecker             Female Mandarin Duck and ducklings

Posted yesterday at 7:28 pm by Peter Castle in General Birding

Post Bridge/ Challacombe Farm. Dartmoor

11 members of DB (East Devon Branch) attended the all day fieldtrip to central Dartmoor. A distant Cuckoo was seen at Archerton and a Redstart present in trees along the path north.  Several Stonechat held territories but their presence was noted by Magpies and one nest site was probably predated.  A Green Woodpecker was heard to the east.  A brief view of Grey Wagtail was had and three Buzzard passed overhead with Meadow Pipits, Willow Warblers, House Martins and Wheatear adding to a small list of species.  Two members lunched at the Clapper Bridge and were rewarded with Dipper.

Challacombe Farm produced good sightings of breeding Redstart plus Marsh Tit, House Martins.  Garden Warbler and Pied Flycatcher were heard plus a Cuckoo south of the farm and Lesser Redpoll was seen higher up the valley towards Headland Warren.  From the road near the latter several more Wheatear were present.

Posted yesterday at 6:57 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding


A Red Kite drifted north over Roundham Head, Paignton at 12.30pm being mobbed by Herring Gulls.


Posted yesterday at 3:46 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

River Plym

Cycle ride this morning from Plymouth to Clearbrook return.

Plymbridge Woods: the pair of Pergrines at the watch point feeding young in the nest, Dipper, 20 Mandarin Ducks (19 drakes), 2 Grey wagtails, 4 Siskins, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers &, Marsh Tit. 

Clearbrook: 2 Tree Pipits, 2 Lesser redpolls, & a pair of Stonechats with 2 newly-fledged young.

Posted yesterday at 2:35 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Red kite this morning 

Posted yesterday at 12:42 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Hobby at Fremington

A hobby just shot through, east to west, the new housing estate at the old Fremington army camp adjacent to the trees lining the south bank of Fremington Pill.

Posted yesterday at 12:20 pm by Phil Naylor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 22nd May 2019

Braunton Toll Road

Late afternoon visit to the River Caen. Lots of alarming Gulls and Shelduck meant something big in the air, but it took quite  awhile to find the culprit - an Osprey which started to gain height over RMB Chivenor, after a while it was still there gaining height and I can't be certain that there wasn't another one even higher up!

No sign of any Little Owls, but a smart Barn Owl hunting around the marsh road later on.

The three small Waders on the flood just inside the breach were: a Dunlin, a Ringed Plover and um something else! Same size as the other two (poss a tad larger) but no black belly, slight impression of more scalloped plumage but otherwise no particular features to help I/d....

Posted May 22nd at 8:46 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Whitethroat, 2 Green Woodpeckers, Grey Wagtail, 15 drake Mandarin Ducks, Whimbrel, Curlew & 2 Oystercatchers. 

Posted May 22nd at 8:36 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Roborough Down 22-05-19

Plenty of Redpolls on the down this am, along with Yellowhammers, Willow Warblers, Linnets, Stonechats, a Cuckoo heard but not seen

Repoll (F)Redpoll (M)Skylark
Repoll (F)                               Redpoll (M)                          Skylark

Posted May 22nd at 2:44 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

East Soar

Whimbrel in off the sea, 3 pairs Reed Warbler at Starehole Ponds.

1st Dark Green Fritillary & Large Skipper.

Posted May 22nd at 1:50 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


A 6am start proved worthwhile at Broadsands today. Two whimbrel. one of which landed, the other flew on inland. Behind the beach huts, a whitethroat had picked out his singing perch and was in good voice and the reed warbler was singing his heart out too, It became a competition which could sing the loudest. Plenty of photos and footage of behavior and song. Brilliant.  An occasion for appreciating God's handiwork.

Posted May 22nd at 11:34 am by PHILIP L. FAIRCLOUGH in General Birding

Tuesday 21st May 2019

Nightjars at Bovey Heathfield

Two birds churring, very intermittently, 21.35-22.15. Male and female, flying together, drifted over just above head-height.

Posted May 21st at 10:34 pm by John Walton in General Birding

Red Kite and Swifts over East Devon

There was a group of three Swifts flying over the main car park in Honiton this morning. This afternoon around 5.30pm a single Red Kite was seen circling from east to west over Taleford near Ottery St Mary.

Posted May 21st at 9:24 pm by Maurice Rapley in General Birding

Exmoor,the Devon side.

Redstart,Pied Flycatcher,Willow Warbler ,Bullfinch GS Woodpecker,Tree Creeper,Nuthatch, Black Cap,Cuckoo,Dipper,Pied and Grey Wagtail, and Whinchat. More Swallows this week and Martins.Didnt see Spotted Flycatcher, hopefully next time.

Treecreeper                           Whinchat                                     Blackcap

Posted May 21st at 7:26 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Dawlish gathering of the gulls

Around 8pm last night there was a very large mixed gull flock in a narrow band just off Dawlish breakwater in a feeding frenzy apparently on whitebait. Apparently been a regular thing at high tide for a few days. Largest numbers I have seen in years. No bins with me so couldn't check for any oddities.

Posted May 21st at 4:08 pm by JOHN PHILLIPS in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

See this morning: Curlew 1,Oystercatcher 3, Whimbrel 1, GSW 3 and the best of the bunch were 3 Spotted Flycatcher.

Posted May 21st at 11:37 am by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Monday 20th May 2019

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Two Whitethroats newly arrived, Whimbrel, Curlew, Stock Dove, 3 drake Mandarin Ducks, Shag & 4 Roe deer (1 buck).

Posted May 20th at 10:33 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Isley/Home Farm

Walked along the Tarka Trail to home farm this evening, no sign of the Osprey, but closer scrutiny of the shoreline at Isley showed that it was there, on the edge of the saltmarsh (about 6.35p.m.) It then flew west. Thanks to Dave P for posting about it's presence once again.

I headed over to the Skern, where, well not a lot really, max 16 Herring Gulls, 6 Oystercatchers, 13 Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover 1 Shelduck, and 1 Whimbrel. A pair of Wheatears, a Skylark, a Pied Wagtail and 3 Swallows.

Posted May 20th at 9:53 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Start Point

3 Shelduck chicks (plus 2 adults) on sea half a mile west of Start Point. Not more than a day or two old.

Shelduck chicks
Shelduck chicks

Posted May 20th at 8:38 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in General Birding


The only birds of note in the reserve today were a clutch (6) of Mallards - hatched today, as not there yesterday. On the main pond at Sherpa were a pair of Shoveler and a surprise pair of Garganey.

Posted May 20th at 4:53 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Just found three White Winged Black Terns feeding with BH Gulls. Viewed from railway path feeding in the middle of the marsh. Probably better viewed on the road towards Turf. 

Posted May 20th at 10:57 am by Chris E in General Birding

River Taw Osprey

Osprey being mobbed by gulls flew into Home farm marsh 08.30 this morning.  

Posted May 20th at 10:38 am by David Paterson in General Birding

Sunday 19th May 2019

Cann Woods - Nightjar Update

Nightjar activity at Cann Woods is showing an increase with churring from six separate sites, from 9:25 onwards.  Had good close encounters with two birds, a female and male before it got too dark.

Posted May 19th at 10:53 pm by Chris & Janet Marcol in General Birding

Re Martin Rooney's Butterfly (19.5.19)

FYI Martin, looks like a Pearl-bordered Fritillary -  a little tatty, worn and faded, probably been out for several days, to a week. Looking at the outer/trailing edge of the wings, the orange spots are "open," with incomplete black borders. Sm Pearl-borderd has definite orange spots in fully closed borders. (Hope this makes sense & helps)

Posted May 19th at 8:39 pm by Dave Holloway in Other Wildlife

Fingle bridge - Hunters Path

Further to the post by Martin Rooney. The butterfly is either a Small Pearl -bordered Fritillary or a Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Hope that helps

Posted May 19th at 8:36 pm by Michael Spencer in Other Wildlife

Exminster Marsh saturday

Walk around the Marsh, Usual species Lots of Tits Blue great Long Tailed, Goldfinches, ChiffChaff and a very vocal ringed Warbler? Two High flying Sparrowhawks was the highlight suddenly dived and were chasing another bird across the Marsh. Didnt see the outcome..

Posted May 19th at 5:11 pm by Darrell Pattie in General Birding

Fingle bridge -Hunter's Path

Of note Pied Flycatcher, Goosander (f), Yellowhammer and common Whitethroat. No good photos sadly. Also lots of Brimstone and large and small white plus the unidentified (by me) butterfly in the last picture. Any ID appreciated.

Goosander                 Whitethroat                      Butterfly?

Posted May 19th at 3:57 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Saturday 18th May 2019


3 Spotted Flycatchers at Southdown Farm pm

Posted May 18th at 9:26 pm by Roger White in General Birding


Watched from 07:30 till 11:30

started at Bowling green marsh but as usual these days very quiet with only 2 greenshank , 1 whimbrel , 1 common sandpiper, 1 black tailed godwits, 2 common gull, 5 little egret,  Lots of house Martin and swifts moving through

Moved onto the goatwalk quickly became apparent that there were large numbers of house Martin and swifts moving through from powderham heading north over exminster and on a broad  front all the way up towards Haldon following them were at least  4 Hobby’s, but the best birds of the day were 3 Red Kites  the first At 09:25, the 2nd At 09:37 and the 3rd At 10:40 all heading south west towards Haldon, as the tide dropped 12+ grey plover, 3 knot, 20+ Dunlin, 12+ whimbrel.

Posted May 18th at 7:58 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Yarmer and Leasefoot Beaches early morning

At least 10 whimbrel and some Bar-Tailed Godwits on the two beaches, 8 small waders which I think consisted of 7 Dunlin and 1 Sanderling although it could well have been 6 & 2. Went back later with Steph & Rob Murphy and got cracking views of 4 Bar-Tailed Godwits on Yarmer beach one in summer plumage. The Barwits appeared to be feeding on sand hoppers, you can just about make it out in one of the photos

Bar-tailed GodwitBar-tailed GodwitSanderling
Bar-tailed Godwit                  Bar-tailed Godwit                                      Sanderling

Posted May 18th at 4:53 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Velator reserve

In among a few birds ringed this morning was the year's second Grasshopper Warbler.

Posted May 18th at 1:25 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Berry Head 18.05.19

Interesting sighting of what I'm 80% sure was a Sparrow Hawk sitting on the South Fort wall next to a Magpie. The Sparrow Hawk flew away in the direction of Brixham and was harried in flight by a Magpie and a Common Gull.

 2 Swifts, 2 Goldfinch's, a Coal Tit and a Chaffinch showed well in the hedgerow by the car park. The best sighting was of a Robin which landed close by a posed long enough for the attached picture

Posted May 18th at 12:39 pm by David Roper in General Birding

brent geese

Friday 0815 am 9 dark bellied brent geese in the duckpond at Exmouth.

Posted May 18th at 7:12 am by eric in General Birding

Friday 17th May 2019

Slapton area

Dank murky conditions around 6pm pushed three groups of manx shearwater into Start bay totalling 66 along with 2 and kittiwake and a first summer, plus five sandwich ten.  At 9pm a large group of around 300 Swift screamed higher and higher as they disappeared into the low cloud. 

Posted May 17th at 9:17 pm by Nik ward in General Birding

Walking around Saltram, Plymouth

Today whilst out walking with the dog, I was delighted to see Little Egret, Shelduck and Canada geese on the waterfront and in and around the woodlands: bluetits, great tits, Robins, goldfinches, bullfinch, long tailed tits, Jay and most surpringly of all a pair of ring-necked parakeets. 

Posted May 17th at 8:38 pm by P Flowers in General Birding

Toll road- Braunton

7am this morning, a flock of about 15 Little Egrets , just 2 swifts, and several swallows 

Posted May 17th at 7:56 pm by Beth Woollam in General Birding

Wembury Bay

Three or 4 Red Kites circling over the lower fields and then 3 gliding off NW (c9 - 9.30am). Also, on the beach, 2 partial sum-plum Grey Plovers, 6 Bar-tailed Godwits (2 in partial sum-plum), Whimbrel, Curlew & Dunlin.

Posted May 17th at 4:33 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Red Kite

Single Red Kite outskirts of Abbotskerswell 2pm today

Posted May 17th at 3:38 pm by Jon Pring in General Birding

Bolberry Down

Red Kite over going east; also swift & 3 Fulmar.

Posted May 17th at 2:28 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Sherpa Marsh

More Swifts this morning, (about 15). More House Martins too (about 50). Looking around for Swallows I was surprised to find them (about a dozen) perched on the reed-bed. 1 Little Egret, 3 Grey Herons, and an odd male Tufted Duck.

Posted May 17th at 12:36 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

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