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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Saturday 21st January 2017


Another week chalked up for the Yellow-browed warbler, still cavorting at the sewage works in the company of 2 chiffchaffs and a goldcrest.

Posted January 21st, 2017 at 11:42 am by Henry Trollope in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 20th January 2017

Sharkham Point Brixham

The imm drake Surf Scoter again failrly close, just south of headland view able from benches at top of head. with approx 300 Common Scoter. It's moulting quite quickly see below:

Scoter flock Sharkham   imm drake Surf Scoter Sharkham 20 Jan 2017 ML

Posted January 20th, 2017 at 10:42 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Yesterday afternoon (19th) while driving from Bude, I spotted a dozen or so waxwings flying high from tree to tree in gardens just outside Holsworthy.  Leapt out of the car and snapped a couple shots – not pin sharp, but should do for the record, anyway.   Hilary Vivian


Posted January 20th, 2017 at 10:33 am in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 19th January 2017

Red Kite

Seen circling over forestry in the company of 2 buzzards, Woolsery area, North Devon

Posted January 19th, 2017 at 9:20 pm by Mike Luckson in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 18th January 2017


Goosemoor ~ Spotted Redshank, Greenshank and three Snipe.

Topsham rec ~ Yellow Browed Warbler, Kingfisher, Common Gull,1st winter Mediterranean Gull, three Golden Eye.


Cockwood ~ Pair of Red Breasted Merganser, flock of Dunlin.

Between Cockwood and Kenford five Red Legged Partridge.

On the way home flock of 13 Waxwings seen near Chudleigh Knighton.


Posted January 18th, 2017 at 5:52 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Great Grey Shrike in felled area by Golden Dagger tin mine. Also in area: Kestrel, 5 Green Woodpecker, 2 Bullfinch, 4 Siskin, 2 Reed Bunting. No sign of any Crossbills.

Nearby: 200 Fieldfare at Langworthy Farm.

Posted January 18th, 2017 at 5:02 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


30+ Waxwings sighted this morning, 18/1/17, at 9am on a Cherry Tree in Peter Tavy.

Posted January 18th, 2017 at 3:16 pm by Robin Stanbridge in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Taw nr. Pottington Ind. Est.

Long-tailed Duck was present around 9am on Taw  in line with the Stagecoach depot. Diving on the high tide and quite close in.

Posted January 18th, 2017 at 12:23 pm by Lowell Mills in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 17th January 2017


Yellow-browed Warbler again plus a Firecrest at the Water Treatment Works, late afternoon.

Posted January 17th, 2017 at 7:09 pm by Andy Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sharkam Point, Brixham

The 1st w male Surf Scoter was busy feeding just south of Sharkham Point with 335 Common Scoter and 9 Velvet Scoter (separate from the main group of Scoter). It's just 5 minute walk south of the Sharkham car park and best viewed for the benches that look south from the highest part of the point. Assuming it stays here (wintering scoter flocks have done so in the past) this new location negates the hard hike to Crabrock Point, Man Sands for those wishing to see the Surf Scoter. 

Posted January 17th, 2017 at 6:33 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bolt Tail

1st winter Glaucous Gull very close in and headed into Thurlestone Bay. Also 10 Common Scoter & 16 Gannet.

Posted January 17th, 2017 at 1:58 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Darts Farm

7 Waxwings at ten this morning, high up in a tree at the back of the lorry car park, not a stone's throw from the RSPB shop!!

Posted January 17th, 2017 at 10:41 am by Paul Hepple in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 15th January 2017

Waxwing and Firecrest

A first light visit to Alphington gave the reported nine Waxwings frequenting Sainsbury’s, unfortunately the light simply did not improve but the birds were so confiding all the gathering birders had good close up views, a pity that some bird photographers had to encroach closer than any societies guide lines would find reasonable or even acceptable.


On to Exmouth later in the morning, a mixed flock of duck just off one of the shore cars parks made up of 14 Wigeon, 4 Mallard and 35+ Pintails, further out and all along the coastal area Brent Geese, Shellduck, Curlew, Oyster Catcher, Turnstone, Dunlin, small number of Godwit and numerous numbers of Cormorant.

As described in a post earlier in the week both Firecrest located in the deep cover behind the cricket ground, in view for some time but rarely showing clearly, in the same area a mixed tit flock including Long Tails, Great, Blue and Coal, one wren and a Song Thrush.

Posted January 15th, 2017 at 6:07 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Waxwings, Topsham

Nine Waxwings picking off the last of the hawthorn berries, between Fishers Mill/Clyst Bridge and Dart's Farm c.4pm. Presumably the Sainsbury's nine? Good call from (now top birder) wife Carolyn, who just happened to be passing.


Posted January 15th, 2017 at 4:34 pm by Tim Worfolk in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Yellow browed warbler still at WTW early morning.

7 Goosander (2m, 5 redhead) about 1/4 mile downstream of Staverton Bridge.

Posted January 15th, 2017 at 11:57 am by Douglas Stannard in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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