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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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


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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am in General Birding

Saturday 21st October 2017

Dawlish warren

Watched from 08:15 till 13:35

hard work on a seawatch from the life guard hut on the sea wall  was rewarded with a Leach's Petrel south just after 10:30  earlier 2 Arctic Skuas close in heading south, a Long tailed duck flew in around 11:20 along exmouth sea front , 3 Great northern divers, 1 Red throated diver was in close to the beach , 1 great crested grebe , 1 2nd winter Mediterranean gull briefly settled off the sea wall , another Arctic Skua went south about 13:10, steady passage of Gannets south all morning , 15 swallow south, 35+ common scoter around the bay , 3 wigeon south

Posted October 21st, 2017 at 9:33 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding


Other than a Grey Seal, very little off Mount Batten today, but in Radford Park (much of which was surprisingly sheltered) a Firecrest, 3 Goldcrests and 3 Little Grebes.

Posted October 21st, 2017 at 5:53 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

In The Bight on the dropping tide good numbers of honking brent geese as they flew off down river on the dropping tide with 2 grey plover, 2 ringed plover, a few turnstone and a bar tailed godwit amongst the roosting curlew and oystercatcher. A 1st winter Mediterranean gull and 2 adult LBB Gulls amongst the gull roost also until a large peregrine flew over putting everything up.

Missed all the sea bird action offshore but 2 common scoter, a red throated diver and a grey seal close in to shore with flocks of 12 and 5 common scoter flying south, also plenty of gannets.

From Dawlish railway platform more gannets and a very nice Arctic skua close in flying south and closely following a group of 5 kittiwakes (2 juvs.)

Posted October 21st, 2017 at 5:46 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding


A quick walk around the reserve this morning. Only one tree down. Over on the scrape about 100 Black-tailed Godwits still. I know there is at least one fewer as I have the wings and one leg of one I found in the reserve.

Posted October 21st, 2017 at 10:51 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Friday 20th October 2017


Red-crested Pochard (f) on main dam with many Teal and Widgeon. 3 Little Grebe on No.3 Dam.

Posted October 20th, 2017 at 4:33 pm by Rob Hubble in General Birding

Whitleigh woods

Short walk through the woods this morning 20+ Goldcrest,8 Coal Tits ,6 Great Tits, ,2 Blue Tits,3 Nuthatches,2 Jays,1 Buzzard,1 Bullfinch.

Posted October 20th, 2017 at 2:51 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding


Another cracker today, a Hawfinch flew onto a tree beside the hide this morning, then flew into the willows below. Also seen a Firecrest and 2 of the 3 Cetti's Warblers that are around the marsh. 

Posted October 20th, 2017 at 2:50 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

1 Curlew Sandpiper and 2 or maybe 3 Ruff this lunchtime.

Hundreds of Wigeon dropped in from the estuary. Amongst all the ducks again was the White-cheeked Pintail - it has a metal ring on its right leg and a slight limp!

The ringed Mute Swans (yellow DTA and DZJ) that have been around for a few weeks were originally ringed at Abbotsbury, Dorset.

Posted October 20th, 2017 at 2:24 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Start Point

Fairly quiet this morning. 2 Firecrests and 2 Goldcrests down at the light. Around the farm an additional 7 Firecrest, Goldcrest, Grey Wagtail, 2 Song Thrushes, 2 Redwings, 4 Chiffchaffs and a Lesser Redpoll.

Posted October 20th, 2017 at 1:13 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

EAST Devon Fieldtrip cancelled tomorrow

Due to the forecast of bad weather due to Storm Brian, the fieldtrip to Exminster Marshes tomorrow (Sat 21 Oct) has been cancelled. Maybe a day to get your bird reports up to date and send them to Devon Birds!

Please note that East Devon Branch is taking bookings for Christmas lunch to be held at Escot Park on Mon 11 Dec.  It is essential to book before end of November.  Please see Programme for this and other events.


Posted October 20th, 2017 at 12:52 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Thursday 19th October 2017

Plym Estuary

On the pool in the rain this afternoon: Curlew 33, Oystercatcher 5, Redshank 70+ and Greenshank 4.

Posted October 19th, 2017 at 7:52 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the lake,
2 Cormorants, 1 Grey Heron, 6 Tufted Duck, 8 Great Crested Grebe, 31 Coot, 10 Moorhen, c110 Canada Geese, c120 Black Headed Gull, 3 Coal Tit, 3 Robin, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Chaffinch, 2 House Sparrow, 1 Willow Tit, 2 Blue Tit, 1 Great Tit, c30 Mallard.

Posted October 19th, 2017 at 7:09 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

WRYNECK Bolberry 19th Oct 2017

Wryneck working the top field at Bolberry. The coast path runs along from the car park towards Soar Mill Cove and as you enter the field by the gate it was along the top fence line running parallel with the coast path. On the tops of the posts and at the base of the wire fencing digging at ant hills. Still there at 1300hrs today


Posted October 19th, 2017 at 4:59 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Scabbacombe Head

Cloudy and quite foggy this morning. Over 200 G.B.B..Gulls on Scabbacombe beach. A flock of 45+ Goldfinches flying around and 30+ Meadow Pipits. Highlight was the Yellow-browed Warbler in the small woods on the northern side of the Head, also a couple of Firecrest nearby. Lots of Pied Wagtails in the ploughed fields and 2 Wheatears.

Posted October 19th, 2017 at 3:30 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

1 Curlew Sandpiper and 4 Ruff from the hide this lunchtime.

Posted October 19th, 2017 at 2:23 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Berry Head

Some great October migrant weather light SE. wind, overcast and a bit of mizzle in the air: 2 Yellow-browed Warblers along middle path up from the Berry Head Hotel, 1 late Willow Warbler in the quarry, 10 Firecrest around the head, 42 Goldcrest, 13 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap and 1 Wheatear. Overhead nothing spectacular but 1 Merlin, 6 Siskin, 1 Redpoll, 2 Swallows - surprisingly no Redwing

    Willow Warbler Bry Hd 19 Oct 2017 ML  Yellow-Browed WarblerWarbler Bry Hd 19 Oct 2017 ML

Late Willow Warbler                                                                   Yellow-browed Warbler

Posted October 19th, 2017 at 12:17 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Wednesday 18th October 2017

Cadover Bridge-Trowlesworthy Warren area Dartmoor 18-10-2017

Walk past Trowlesworthy Warren house up along the Plym River, produced Snow Buntings 2 ( m,s at around 12:30) grid ref SX 566 651, Ring Ouzles 5(1m + 4f), same area, Ravens 25(in one group), Mistle Thrush 2, Blackbirds,Skylarks 2, Meadow Pipits 10, Stonechats, Goldcrests 3, Kestrel, Buzzards 2, Starlings 50, Green woodpecker, Golden Plover 300(over Gutter Tor area).

Posted October 18th, 2017 at 5:12 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in General Birding

Tuesday 17th October 2017

Slapton tonight

Short Eared Owl took off from beach between memorial and Strete Gate and flew off over the higher ley as we were driving past

Posted October 17th, 2017 at 9:59 pm by Timothy Clyburn in General Birding

Lundy Island.

20+ Guilemotts on outward trip from Ilfracombe.   Two Hawfinch in Millcombe, good views of f.    M.flew across valley into Sycamores.   50+ Siskin, 25Swallows flying south.    Blackcap and several Goldcrests.    Sparrowhawk, f.over Millcombe.     Return journey,   Great N. Diver still in landing bay,  22 Common Scoter in single flock,  45+ Guillemots, single Kittiwake and 3Harbour porpoise.     

Posted October 17th, 2017 at 8:44 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in General Birding


Having farmland right behind the garden here in the Wembworthy area we are blessed with good numbers of Goldfinches year round , but today we were invaded by a record count of 64 on the feeders at the same time. A sight to behold .

Posted October 17th, 2017 at 8:13 pm by Mike Luckson in General Birding

Shipley Bridge to the Avon Dam

This morning I led a Field trip for five members of the mid Devon branch of the DBWPS from Shipley Bridge to the Avon Dam and back, a total of 35 species observed and identified the best return I have ever had for that area.

Several high lights the best for me was my first ever parish Firecrest which showed remarkably well at close quarters just up from the old pump house.


(All images taken & supplied by Tom Wallace)

A flock of 17 Golden Plover passed the Plymouth side of the Dam while we were watching three female Goosander.

A Merlin just as we left the top of the dam possibly put up the Golden Plover we then observed as we came back down several sightings in numbers up to 200 birds.

Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Yellow Hammer, Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, Kestrel, Dipper, numerous Goldcrest more than I have seen up there previously.

All in all a very enjoyable and worthwhile visit.

Posted October 17th, 2017 at 5:09 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh 16 October.

Fabulous display by one of the 2 Marsh Harrier seen this afternoon. Also a Peregrine through which landed briefly- pretty sure it was unringed. Also two Ruff, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Little Stint and 1 Dunlin. 

Curlew and Curlew Sandpiper Marsh Harrier Peregrine
Curlew and Curlew Sandpiper                               Marsh Harrier                                       Peregrine

Posted October 17th, 2017 at 1:18 am by Bob Telford in General Birding

Monday 16th October 2017

Wembury Bay

5 Firecrests, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and Whimbrel.

Posted October 16th, 2017 at 7:35 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Marsh harrier and Peregrine Falcon BGM

Marsh Harrier video -

Peregrine video -

Marsh Harrier Peregrine
Marsh Harrier                                              Peregrine

Posted October 16th, 2017 at 7:03 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Sunday 15th October 2017


About 25 Firecrests around the lower car park near the Coastguards Prawle at 6 pm this evening

Posted October 15th, 2017 at 9:30 pm by John Walters in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

30 Curlews and 50 Redshanks on the pool with a Greenshank and 7 Oystercatchers. Also Common Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Ring-necked Parakeet, 12 Little Egrets, 6+ Goldcrests and 2 Roe Deer.

Earlier in Lipson, 2 Firecrests.

Posted October 15th, 2017 at 8:13 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Golden Plover - Cuckoo Ball, Dartmoor

Approx 1300hrs today a flock of 300+ Golden Plover seen from Cuckoo Ball, Wrangaton flying north from Western Beacon towards Butterdon Hill. Also in area, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Kestrel, 2 Buzzard and a few Meadow Pipits.

Posted October 15th, 2017 at 3:13 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Seaton Wetlands

From ~14:00 to ~18:00, 14/10/17. From the Tower Hide, 1 Kingfisher flew past within seconds of entering the hide. 100+ gulls on the river, including at least 2 GBBG, 1 Cormorant fishing, several Oystercatcher and Black-tailed Godwits, and small numbers of distant Widgeon. To the south, 1 cattle egret in amongst the cattle with 1 little egret. On the marsh, 20+ each of Shelduck, Redshank, Lapwing, 1 Common Sandpiper and several Black-tailed Godwits. 3 Little Grebes and several Teal.

From the Island Hide, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Snipe, 1 Ruff, 1 Water Rail, 2 Coot, 1 Kestrel. Cetti's heard, not seen. From the Discovery Hut hide, 2 Water Rail.

From the Colyford Common hide, 100s of Canada Geese, Water Rail calling (not seen). Several meadow Pipits. As the light was starting to fade numbers of Starlings on the common were gradually increasing to 60+ (making us hopeful of some pre-roost displays) but were interrupted by a Peregrine.

On way to marsh, 5+ Swallows seen heading towards the coast by Seaton Jurassic centre.

Posted October 15th, 2017 at 9:50 am by Benjamin Drummond in General Birding

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