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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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 14th October 2017

Berry Head

While leading a birding day for TCCT during a short seawatch late morning and then lunchtime watch clocked up 2 Great and 3 Arctic Skuas

Posted October 14th, 2017 at 6:19 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Very quiet sea watching (winds dropped), the only "action" being: 1 Manxie (08:30); 1 Bonxie ((08:35); 1 adult Med Gull (0850); 1 Balearic Shearwater (10:00), all > S, + 24 Common Scoter landed off Torbay (09:15); a Hirundine flock, c.20 > W, mainly Swallow, some House Martin. A Firecrest in the woods brightened up a dull day.

Posted October 14th, 2017 at 3:19 pm by Dave Holloway in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Start Point

Vis mig from 07:15-09:00 included Woodlark, 170 Meadow Pipits, 38 alba Wagtails, 136 Swallows, 7 House Martins, 19 Chaffinches, 710 Linnets, 640 Goldfinches, 43 Siskins, Lesser Redpoll and 3 Reed Buntings. Nothing around the farm except a couple Goldcrests.

Posted October 14th, 2017 at 12:49 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 13th October 2017

Start Point / Hallsands

Windy and foggy at Start but sheltered and clear down at the light where there were 21 Blackcaps, 6 Goldcrests  and a Wheatear. Also a Usain Bolt type Sooty Shearwater south which made it from Berry Head in a record breaking 25 mins ( thanks for the call Mike ).Had a walk around Hallsands seeing Kingfisher, 2 Grey Wagtails, 4 Chiffchaffs and a handful of Swallows.

Posted October 13th, 2017 at 3:01 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

A bit too windy for migrants on top of head, so concentrated on a short seawatch 0800-0930hrs: 1 Sooty Shearwater 3 Balearic Shearwater, (0900) 9 Great Skua,6 Arctic Skua. Only passerines of note were a Yellow Wagtail and Siskin over, 

Posted October 13th, 2017 at 11:07 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 12th October 2017


Migrants in short supply, but - Lesser Whitethroat, Ring Ouzel, 4+ Siskins, 13 Goldcrests & 8 Swallows.

Posted October 12th, 2017 at 6:05 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sherpa / Wrafton scrape

12 Ruff present this morning with the Black tailed Godwits until the shooters turned up blasting there way through Sherpa Marshes disturbing everything including the non target species. People walking down the trail thought World War 3 had started!

Posted October 12th, 2017 at 4:35 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 11th October 2017

Sherpa / Wrafton scrape

The 17 Ruff (9m + 8fm) were present again this morning searching for food amongst 148 Black tailed Godwits. Also 37 Teal & 1 Cettis calling from the scrub by the side of the trail. So far have not been able to get all 17 Ruff together posing for a photo but will keep trying when time allows!


Posted October 11th, 2017 at 12:33 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 10th October 2017

Sherpa / Wrafton scrape

Called in at the scrape on my way down to R.Caen & Horsey Island around 16.10 > 16.30

As soon as I arrived I noticed a flock of 17 Ruff on the edge of the scrape.

By the time I got the camera mounted on the scope they had dispersed  around the edges of the scrape & promptly joined the Black tailed Godwits searching for food in the damp rough grass & rushes.

On the way back called in again hoping to obtain a few photos of the whole flock together but  they had gone!

Posted October 10th, 2017 at 6:04 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Despite off-shore winds there was a sizeable collection of gulls and Gannets feeding about 1/2 mile out from headland, checking through them produced: 5 Arctic, 1 Pomarine and 4 Great Skuas but no sign of any Shrearwaters.around the headland 2 Firecrest, 19 Goldcrest, 6 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap and 1 Wheatear.

Posted October 10th, 2017 at 3:51 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 9th October 2017

Start Point etc

Vis mig from 07:05-08:15........60 Meadow Pipits, 24 Alba Wagtails, 31 Swallows, 4 Starlings ( first of autumn ), 220 Goldfinches, 340 Linnets, 12 Chaffinches, 6 Lesser Redpolls ( first vm birds of autumn ) and a Bullfinch ( first of autumn ). Elsewhere 20 Goldcrests, 5 Chiffchaffs ( a single bird the only migrant at the light ), 2 Blackcaps and 2 House Martins. First Merlin of the autumn flew past the lighthouse. No sign of yesterdays Yellow-browed Warbler in the farm.

Down at Beesands Ley a good count of 70 Swallows in one flock heading north, wrong way guys ! On the ley 48+ Mute Swans, 65 Gadwalls ( including a mating pair , he looked more interested than she ), Shoveler, 3 Tufted Ducks and a couple of Water Rails calling. Had a quick look at Start Bay from the Memorial Car Park along Torcross Line and there is still a flock of 21 Common Scoters offshore.

Posted October 9th, 2017 at 3:37 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Ring-Necked Parakeet in Maer Valley of unknown origin. Visible on top of dead tree from the first gate up from lifeboat station end of Maer Lane. Please respect parking and residents

Posted October 9th, 2017 at 8:14 am by Spencer Dicks in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 8th October 2017


Late post from yesterday at least 45 med gulls amongst a large flock of bhg"s{750+},31 ad,4 2w,10 fw.18.30.On this mornings tide a mass feeding over fish in estuary.Only a very small fraction came to roost which included 30 meds,17 ad,3 2w,10 fw.08:15-09:20.Several thousand gulls followed fish out with the tide so likely to have been more meds.

Posted October 8th, 2017 at 1:31 pm by Robert Marshall in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Start Point

Vis mig 07:00-08:20 quiet, 3 Skylarks Grey Wagtail, 7 Alba Wagtails, 10 Swallows, 11 Meadow Pipits, Chaffinch, 40 Linnets, 80 Goldfinches and 10 Siskin. Around the farm an elusive Yellow-browed Warbler just heard calling, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Wheatears, 5 Chiffchaffs, 5 Goldcrests, Treecreeper ( not sure I have actually seen one here before ), Coal Tit ( British ) and 2 Lesser Redpolls flew over.

Frustratingly a brief glimpse of a pale dragonfly in the fenced off set aside area up the road from the farm. Wondered about Vagrant Emperor and I see there is one at Dawlish this morning. Waited for 30 minutes but not seen again. I am not great with Dragonflies so may easily have been fooled by something commoner and in all honesty may have forgotten about it if not for the Dawlish sighting.

Posted October 8th, 2017 at 1:14 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Dawlish Warren Country Park

October 8th. 1 Firecrest - corner of Little Commons Field  (hedgrow near the wind turbine). Also 2 Goldcrest, 4 Skylarks over, Cirl Bunting and the regular flock of around 200 Linnets.

Posted October 8th, 2017 at 8:43 am by Peter Leigh in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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