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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Saturday 21st January 2017

Matford Pond

American Wigeon male still present with 220 Wigeon, 32 Teal and 6 Shoveler.

Posted January 21st, 2017 at 9:30 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

New Bridge Barnstaple

Loads of Curlew, Oystercatcher, Black-tailed Godwit, Herring Gull and Black -headed Gulls. as well as 30 Cormorants, 30 Dunlin, 12 Sanderling, 6 Grey Plover, 14 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 5 greater Black-backed Gulls, 3 Common Gulls.

Posted January 21st, 2017 at 9:18 pm by Benjamin Rousseau in General Birding


Yellow-browed warbler still at the Rec, also 1 Goldeneye, 9 Ringed plovers and a possible argentatus Herring gull. 4 Goldeneye from the viewing platform.

Posted January 21st, 2017 at 7:34 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Plym Estuary

A Jack Snipe and a count of 127 Dunlins were today's highlights. Also: Ringed Plover 2, Greenshank 4, Wigeon 5, Little Grebe 4, Kingfisher, Oystercatcher 5, Curlew 37, Shelduck 28, Goldcrest 4, Snipe 4, and Green Woodpecker.

Posted January 21st, 2017 at 5:09 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

purple sandpipers

pity about the light today as 7 purple sandpipers showing really well at maer rocks exmouth

Posted January 21st, 2017 at 4:48 pm by gray clements in General Birding

Waxwings at Heathfield

This afternoon around 2:30pm there were still 13 Waxwings across dual carriageway from BCT showing well, best viewed from footpath BCT side of dual carriageway

Posted January 21st, 2017 at 4:23 pm by Mike Goss in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings for Lower Tamar Lake  this morning
2 Willow Tits together on the car park feeders also a Marsh Tit and 1 Willow Tit at the Hide, 1 Little Egret, 19 Tufted Duck, 25 Goosander, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Nuthatch, 2 Snipe, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 10 Coot.

Posted January 21st, 2017 at 1:51 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Torbay Scoters

Two flocks of Common Scoters off of Torbay this morning as viewed from Sharkham Point, Brixham one flock of a counted 87 a long way off and closer to Berry Head in company with a solitary Guillemot.

Five Gannet, one Fulmar in St Marys bay

Between Sharkham Point and Mansands a flock of a counted 167 Common Scoter given the rise and fall of the sea unable to be 100% sure if the reported Surf Scoter was in with the larger flock.

Early yesterday morning a Yellow Browed Warbler with a handful of Goldcrest on the Island at South Brent.


Posted January 21st, 2017 at 1:12 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Friday 20th January 2017

Ludwell Valley Park, Exeter

A lunchtime walk produced single Dipper, Grey wagtail, Kingfisher and Siskin.

Posted January 20th, 2017 at 10:56 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding


0ne of 18 crossbills today at holdon forest today

Posted January 20th, 2017 at 10:42 pm by gray clements in General Birding

Crossbills at Sousssons 20 January 2017

At least 3 male and 4 female Common Crossbills at Soussons this afternoon. No sign of Great Grey Shrike. 

Male and female Common CrossbillMale and female Common Crossbills
Male and female Common Crossbills

Posted January 20th, 2017 at 7:58 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding

Plym Estuary / Saltram

Visited today in a cold but sunny climate.

On the Estuary: 1 Greenshank, 40 ish Redshank, 6 Oystercatchers, 10 Curlew, Gulls various, 20 Canadas and about a dozen Shelduck. Highlight was a pair (m & f) of Shovellers and a Kingfisher.

River Plym: Heron, 2 Sandpipers and a Little Egret

Longbridge Road (River Plym): M & F Kingfisher, 1 Goldcrest.

Posted January 20th, 2017 at 7:17 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Matford Lake

9am Friday 20th January

Male American Wigeon with Wigeon flock. Mallard, Gadwall and Teal also present and 30+ Black tailed Godwit

Posted January 20th, 2017 at 4:00 pm by Adam Davison in General Birding

Male Scaup at Mudbank Exmouth

The Male Scaup which has been seen off Mudbank came ashore on the high tide this lunch time. Great views with the full sun on its back. 10 Pairs of Pintail several Widgeon, and plenty of other waders along the shoreline.

Scaup showed well at Mudbank  Pintail  widgeon
Scaup showed well at Mudbank                                  Pintail                                          wigeon

Posted January 20th, 2017 at 2:45 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Teigngrace - Waxwings

Still 11 Waxwings this morning alongside the A38 opposite BCT

Posted January 20th, 2017 at 12:09 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Thursday 19th January 2017

Chiselbury Bay, Otterton

7 Eider including a drake close in-shore this afternoon.
The Common Scoter flock still present with 200+ birds and at least 2 RT Divers.

Posted January 19th, 2017 at 7:51 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Morte Point

3 R T Diver (my 100th species for this site), 2 Gannet, 1 Guillemot, 1 Fulmar, 2 Raven and 22 other species on a crisp but beautiful morning. First outing here 2017.

Posted January 19th, 2017 at 7:50 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding


At least 5 seen 3.30 pm side of A38 opposite candy tile factory 

Posted January 19th, 2017 at 4:37 pm by l.goonesekera in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

A short walk in glorious sunshine this afternoon. In Station Road there were 3+ goldcrests and one chiffchaff. On the canal bank 2 bullfinch and at least 3 Cettis warblers with a further two heard elsewhere on the marsh. The marsh harrier put in a brief appearance disturbing the waterfowl that included 14 barnacle geese and more teal than of late. I also saw one water rail. Waders included lapwing, golden plover, curlew, snipe and a few black-tailed godwits - low numbers as the tide was low.

Posted January 19th, 2017 at 4:20 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Waxwings A38

A small flock of at least 8 opposite Heathfield this morning.

Posted January 19th, 2017 at 9:12 am by JDA in General Birding

Wednesday 18th January 2017


All the usual waders, including Grey Plover, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Bar Tailed Godwits. Also, Pintail, Wigeon, Shelduck, Eider ducks and  Brent Geese. 

There were more Curlew feeding on the golf course, also Stonechats, Starlings and Pied Wagtails. 


Posted January 18th, 2017 at 9:05 pm by Chris Marshall in General Birding

Aylesbeare Common

Small bright birds today

Dartford Warbler Goldcrest Coal Tit

Dartford Warbler                                 Goldcrest                                               Coal Tit

Posted January 18th, 2017 at 4:44 pm by Colin Scott in General Birding

Baggy Point

Several Fulmar at the point and 2 or possibly 3 Red-throated Divers off the point.

Posted January 18th, 2017 at 1:06 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Grey Wagtail

Tuesday 17th January at 11.30 am.

Grey Wagtail spotted on rocks at edge of stream near Pure Camping in Nethercott,  Braunton.

Posted January 18th, 2017 at 9:10 am by Martin Waters in General Birding

Tuesday 17th January 2017

Morte Point

All around Morte Stone, 16 Great Northern Divers inc a few Black throated, all feeding well on large Launce sandeel.  A flock of 12 Eider in the bay & 1 Great Skua. 

Posted January 17th, 2017 at 11:14 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding

Long Tailed Duck and Goldeneye at Topsham Rec

Great couple of hours spent with DB at Topsham today produced the normal suspects at Bowling Green Marsh with good numbers of Avocets BT Godwits but the main action was off both the viewing platform and Topsham Rec. Off the viewing platform a Grey Seal catching a fish in front of us then losing it! 3 x Great Crested Grebe, Mergansers, a Male Goldeneye 300+ Brent, good numbers of Pintail and the highlight a Slovenian Grebe showed well. At the Rec the Yellow Browed Warbler was showing well, 3 Goldeneye and the Long Tailed Duck were on view in the river with 2 Water Rail and Reed Buntings in the reed beds. Plenty of Redwings feasting on berries in a private garden nearby, but no Waxwings for us!

LTD LTD Goldeneye
LTD                                                     LTD                                                      Goldeneye

Posted January 17th, 2017 at 8:10 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Brixham & Broadsands

Brixham Breakwater: 7 Purple Sandpipers (4 roosting on rusty pipes under old jetty; 3 feeding halfway along outside wall); 1 Turnstone (roosting with 4 purple sands); 5 Common Scoter (flew in towards Goodrington c. 10:00).

Broadsands: very quiet, both m & f Eiders right up on rocks near small groin on beach c.12:00; 4 Cirls + 2 Reed Buntings (on seed, back of overflow car pk).

Posted January 17th, 2017 at 6:06 pm by David Holloway in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at Lower Tamar lake:

1 Willow Tit, 1 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron, 11+ Goosanders, 6 Tufted Duck and 4 Coal Titst  plus the 'usual' birds'.

Harvey Kendall

Posted January 17th, 2017 at 2:38 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Hackney Marsh Tues 17th Jan

Birds very active today even though it's very grey and cold. Kingfisher on reeds. Three female Reed Bunting. Little Egret. Redshank. Two Goldcrest. Song Thrushes. All the usuals. A stunning Dunnock singing. 

Posted January 17th, 2017 at 1:16 pm by Paul Cowie in General Birding

Monday 16th January 2017

Slapton Ley

Offshore both Great Northern Diver & Black-throated Diver close in. Also 10 Razorbill,  Guillemot, Kittiwake & 3 Harbour Porpoise. On the ley 24 Great Crested Grebe (3 more offshore), 183 Gadwall, 8 Shoveler, 17 Pochard & 9 Goldeneye. No sign of any Scaup.

Posted January 16th, 2017 at 6:40 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Cockwood Steps - Exe Estuary

On arrival at 3.50pm - the adult Bonapartes Gull seen straight away showing well in flight feeding at the edge of the water , briefly touched down on mud before flying up Shutterton Creek at c4pm until lost from view. The 2 Slav Grebes still present also .  

No sign of the Topsham Waxwing flock near the Bridge Inn at 1.30pm or 3.30pm

 c75 Fieldfare and 11 Red-legged Partridge near Kenton 

Posted January 16th, 2017 at 5:40 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Blackhole Marsh- Colyford Common, East Devon

17 members of DB attended the fieldtrip to the wetlands and led by Bob Olliver listed 47 species for the morning.

4 Gt Spotted Woodpecker were chasing around the car park and one drummed on a power pole.  Water levels were high at Blackhole and c300 Lapwing were present on the islands although few ducks were evident. A Water Rail was seen from the Field Studies Centre and numbers of Wigeon and Curlew were at a distance from Colyford Common hide, plus a single Fieldfare.  The Tower hide produced a selection of Gulls on the estuary(Common, Gt Bl-backed, Black headed and Herring) and a few waders (Redshank and Dunlin), plus 2 Little Grebe.  The meeting ended at 1pm.

Posted January 16th, 2017 at 4:13 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Brixham Breakwater.

 Brixham  breakwater this morning 9 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Turnstone and 3 Rock Pipit. All on the old fuel bunkering jetty. Also one small gull on the fishing gear, very difficult to ID.

Posted January 16th, 2017 at 3:57 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Braunton Marshes

Great to see 1 Barnacle Goose in amongst a flock of Canada Geese early yesterday morning & this morning - Digiscoped.

Posted January 16th, 2017 at 12:29 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Sunday 15th January 2017

Dawlish/Langstone Rock

3 Common Scoter reasonably close off the east side of Langstone rock (viewed from the railway footbridge) with a larger flock further out. One or two Gannets past. From the west side of the rock looking out towards Torbay, a close flock of around 60 Great-crested Grebes, with more nearer Dawlish, where there was also at least one Porpoise.

Posted January 15th, 2017 at 5:53 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


One of the 9 Waxwings at Sainsbury's this morning. Can we please follow the photographers guidelines and give these birds some space. Witnessed some bad behaviour by fellow photographers this morning, depressing!!

Posted January 15th, 2017 at 5:44 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

Slapton Ley

am. Lovely conditions. Selected counts: c35 Great-crested Grebes, c15 Little Grebes, c150 Gadwall, 7 Shovelor, 16 Pochard, c300 Tufted Duck, 3 Greater Scaup (1ad. male, 1imm. male and 1 ad.female - this one not a Lesser Scaup), c10 Goldeneye, c300 Coot. Plus offshore: 1 Black-necked Grebe, 3 Great-Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver, 15+ Razorbills, 1 Guillemot and, in the distance off Start Point, a feeding flock of 250+ Gannets.

Posted January 15th, 2017 at 4:04 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh-Geese Quarries, falling tide 09:15-13:00

128 Brent Geese, 27 Pintail, 7 Great Crested Grebes, 12 Little Grebes, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, Kingfisher, Rock Pipit and 11 Chiffchaffs ( Sewage works ).

Posted January 15th, 2017 at 3:25 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Glaucous Gull

First Year gull. Seen at water's edge feeding on carrion at Roadford Reservoir WeBs count .

Posted January 15th, 2017 at 1:08 pm by Ian Gasper in General Birding

Matford Pond & Exeter Waxwings

Matford Pond this morning. 150+ Wigeon, 42 Teal, 2 Gadwall, 5 Shoveler, American Wigeon & 3 Chiffchaff. 

Sainsbury's at Alphington 9 Waxwings this morning too. 

Posted January 15th, 2017 at 11:46 am by Steve Cox in General Birding

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