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  Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug 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
Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May  


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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Tuesday 7th November 2017


The most white buzzard I have ever seen and managed to capture a couple of pictures through the hedgerow before it flew off


Posted November 7th, 2017 at 9:31 pm by Adam Sibbald in General Birding


2 Firecrest in the garden again this morning.

Posted November 7th, 2017 at 7:29 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding


Scanning from Goodrington this evening while watching the gull roost produced: 3 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver, 5 Great Crested Grebes, 43 Common Scoter, 10 Eider (in two groups) & 1 ad Mediterranean Gull. 

Posted November 7th, 2017 at 6:34 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding


At dusk today on the main lake, viewed from the road: Canada Geese (147), Herring Gull (1,200+), Black Headed Gull (15), Common Gull (7), Lesser Black Backed Gull (3), Great Black Backed Gull (7), Teal (60+), probably more on near shore, Wigeon (at least 5) probably more on near shore, Mallard (20+) and Brazilian Teal (1 - escape). 

Also Tawny Owl (2), Green Woodpecker (1), Redwing (18), Kestrel (1), Raven (15+), and Coot (9) and Tufted Duck (2) on pond near solar farm, again viewed from road. 

Posted November 7th, 2017 at 6:21 pm by Chris E in General Birding


Three Purple Sandpipers with the Turnstones on Brixham breakwater and Great Northern Diver offshore there. At Broadsands, Great Northern Diver and 2 Great Crested Grebes.

Posted November 7th, 2017 at 2:40 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Emsworthy to Bovey Tracey Rd

25 fieldfare plus 2 starling and a redwing feeding on berries near cattle grid just past Emsworthy  on the road towards Bovey Tracey.

Posted November 7th, 2017 at 10:55 am by Ian Muir in General Birding

Hawfinches Longdown

Numbers are continuing to increase at Longdown with 74 counted leaving the roost site this morning.This included one group of 53 .

Also 12 were seen at West Town Farm Ide which does have public access.This included a flyover group of 9 with a further 3 feeding on Field Maple .Directions are travel through  Ide village from A 30 until you teach Poachers Inn .Turn right at mini roundabout and  travel approximately 1 mile until you reach West Town Farm on left just pat the farm the road drops downhill and the birds were at the bottom of this short hill.

Posted November 7th, 2017 at 10:31 am by Roy Adams Hungarian Bird Tours in General Birding

Monday 6th November 2017

Ludwell Valley Park, Exeter

One Firecrest at lunchtime today.

Posted November 6th, 2017 at 11:10 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Brambling - Emsworthy Mire

Brambling with the Chaffinches near the houses at Emsworthy Mire


Posted November 6th, 2017 at 9:14 pm by Jo King in General Birding

Fieldfare & Redwing, Crediton.

From Top of Breakheart Hill overlooking Salmonhutch, Crediton: fieldfare numbering c.15 and few redwing seen half way along walk through Cradle Fields towards Tinpot Lane. (behind QECC School).

Posted November 6th, 2017 at 6:53 pm by Andrew Head in General Birding

RiverTamar looking towards Kingsmill Lake

Sunday 5th November 1:40pm

The Avocets are back on theTamar 70 +. Also good numbers of Curlews 50+, Blackwits 100+, Shelduck 10, Redshanks 100+, 4 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Great White Egrets, 150 + Canada Geese, 1Buzzard, 1 Kingfisher. Unfortunately Avocet photos won't upload.

Posted November 6th, 2017 at 5:42 pm by Val Grehan in General Birding

Marsh harrier, Velator

Seen going in to roost in the Sharper Marsh reedbed on 28th October

Marsh Harrier, Velator  Marsh harrier, Velator
Marsh Harrier, Velator

Posted November 6th, 2017 at 5:25 pm by Martin Batt in General Birding

Braunton Marshes

A new member, just moved to the area from Yorkshire. Some spectacular sightings that I never really expected here.  A selection below.  Also it's been good to meet some of the regulars here; Rob and Miranda have been very helpful and welcoming.

Great white egret. 30th October Sparrowhawk in pursuit. 30th October Golden plover, part of a gathering early in the season. 4th Novembeer
Great white egret. 30th October      Sparrowhawk in pursuit. 30th October     Golden plover, part of a gathering early in the season. 4th November

Posted November 6th, 2017 at 4:51 pm by Martin Batt in General Birding

Wembury Bay

Firecrest, Merlin, Goldcrest 8, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Clouded Yellow.

Posted November 6th, 2017 at 1:00 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Fremington Quay

Female Snow Bunting at Penhill Point ( Fremington Quay ) this morning.


Posted November 6th, 2017 at 12:08 pm by David Paterson in General Birding

Exeter (Uni campus)

At last bagged a Firecrest at Streatham Drive in conifers with 1 Goldcrest 11am. No binoculars with me so glad I had a bash at following the calls: the birds turned out to be easily watched without.

Posted November 6th, 2017 at 11:34 am by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Sunday 5th November 2017


Blustery early morning walk up to Avon Dam produce 30 Redwing 4 Ring Ouzel a single Fieldfare and  Green Woodpecker 

Posted November 5th, 2017 at 9:15 pm by Roger Backway in General Birding


Late afternoon. 14 Common Scoter, 1 Scaup and 2 Med Gulls on the sea from the Memorial carpark; at least one Firecrest along the leyside trail; 1 Kingfisher by the bridge, thousands of Starlings at Strete Gate and Perry's Glossy Ibis dropping in to roost in the reeds just north of the bridge at 4.50pm.

Posted November 5th, 2017 at 8:34 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding


Around lunchtime today, a small flock of redwing, perhaps 30 strong, flew in from the direction of the sea inland towards Marldon. Possibly new arrivals or just birds on the hunt for food and safety.

Posted November 5th, 2017 at 8:10 pm by PHILIP L. FAIRCLOUGH in General Birding

Haldon & Yarner

Haldon Forrest ~ a walk round the Tree Trail gave Song Thrush, Great Spotted and Lesser Spotted Wood Peckers, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Goldcrest, Raven, Jay, two sightings of Crossbill's in flight initially a small flock and later a pair that landed in the top of a pine tree.


Yarner Wood ~ from the new hide overlooking the reservoir, twenty one Mandarin duck and a very active Kingfisher.

Posted November 5th, 2017 at 8:05 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Fremington Pill

4.30 pm Glossy Ibis feeding close to the road to the Quay. 

Posted November 5th, 2017 at 7:58 pm by Paul Bearman in General Birding


Early & very windy trip to Emsworthy - alas no Hawfinches! About 15 Fieldfares today - 2 of which chased off the only Ring Ouzel before I could get a shot. Photo opportunity gone I stood up and had my closest ever Peregrine encounter. Skimming over the drystone wall I'd been behind the last thing it expected was me to pop up, changing direction at the last minute and passing a few feet from me. 

Posted November 5th, 2017 at 7:34 pm by Paul Treen in General Birding

Occombe Farm NR, Torquay

Steady movement of woodpigeons over this afternoon, not counted but around 100; also, 2 or 3 stock dove. A mobile pair of green woodpeckers finally gave good views in the orchard late afternoon.

Green woodpecker, male
Green woodpecker, male

Posted November 5th, 2017 at 6:09 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding


The White-cheeked Pintail has reappeared on the boating lake at Goodrington after an absence of several weeks.

Posted November 5th, 2017 at 4:14 pm by Tony in General Birding

Exe Estuary Avocet - ringed over 19 years ago Snettisham

I went on the RSPB Avocet Cruise yesterday and was really pleased to see good numbers of waders with a good selection of species.

Amongst them was this ringed Avocet and I emailed John Middleton, project coordinator last night. I was thrilled to get a very quick response and to hear this bird was ringed in Snettisham in June 1998  > 19 years ago and this is the first record of it being seen on the Exe Estuary.

  Ringed Avocet Exe Estuary

Ringed Avocet Exe Estuary

Posted November 5th, 2017 at 4:13 pm by Jo King in General Birding


Very windy so not much small bird activity today. About 70 Black-tailed Godwits flew off the scrape and circled over the reserve before returning there. Don't know what spooked them, but shortly after, they all flew off south.

Despite the wind and cold, in a quiet corner, a Speckled Wood sunning itself.

Posted November 5th, 2017 at 11:45 am by Jon Turner in General Birding


A Pale - bellied Brent Goose with the Dark-bellied this morning on the WeBS count. Only  11 gulls present but covering 5 species, including an adult Yellow-legged, the first I have had at this site in nearly 30years.

Posted November 5th, 2017 at 10:42 am by Roger Doble in General Birding

Incredible Hawfinch Numbers Longdown

Located the hawfinch roost at  Longdown this morning and between 0645 and 0730 46 birds were  counted  leaving the site with a further 9 proable birds.Largest group was 29.Majority of birds wete flying in the Dunsford direction 

Posted November 5th, 2017 at 9:10 am by Roy Adams Hungarian Bird Tours in General Birding

Saturday 4th November 2017


6 Cattle egrets flew up river towards Countess Wear sewage works at 16:25 with a further 2 egrets at 16:45 probably also Cattle egrets (distance and low light prevented positive id). 2 Marsh harriers roosted in the Topsham Rec reedbeds, while 1 or 2 Sparrowhawks hunted Pied wagtails. Earlier two Red breasted mergansers on the river. Yesterday I found a Firecrest along the cycle path between Goosemoor and Darts Farm.

Posted November 4th, 2017 at 8:43 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

BGM starlings

Picture (correct size) attached!

Posted November 4th, 2017 at 7:46 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

BGM Starling murmuration

Not as good as last night but similar numbers and the Sparrowhawk harassing again.

Short video -

Posted November 4th, 2017 at 6:59 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

North of Heasley Mill

Ringtail Hen Harrier flying low over field of pheasant rearing farm being mobbed by four crows this afternoon.  Large flocks of starlings gatherimg before going to roost in the same area.

Posted November 4th, 2017 at 6:17 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Emsworthy Mire

Went to Emsworthy Mire following a report on DWT of two Hawfinch at the location bit failed to locate them, but the feeding flocks of Fieldfare more than made up for that, an estimated 200 plus birds in the area, with them a small number of Redwing.

Three Ring Ouzel seen 2M & 1F but they were very distant and flying out over the moor once seen.

Other birds included a Kestrel, Buzzard, Raven, Heron, four Goldcrest, two Stonechat and a solitary Meadow Pipit.


Posted November 4th, 2017 at 5:05 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Torquay Breakwater

6 Purple Sandpipers  on the breakwater rocks at low tide this morning, plus a solitary Chiffchaff in the bushes adjacent to Living Coasts.

Posted November 4th, 2017 at 1:37 pm by Cliff Parrott in General Birding

Holdstone down

After hesitating on whether to get out of the car or not due to the wind,I was rewarded with many small moorland birds. Coal tits, great tits, 2 firecrest,4 meadow pipits 2 buzzards wrens and Robins,  small flocks of starling and I believe 1 reed bunting. ( hopefully in pictures).  Lesson for today always check your lens settings. 

Reed Bunting Reed Bunting  Reed Bunting 
Reed Bunting                                       Reed Bunting                                          Reed Bunting

Posted November 4th, 2017 at 12:47 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Tory Brook, Colebrook

A foraging flock of 70+ Goldfinches in the ash tree in my backyard contained about 8 or 10 Siskins.  Also so far 1 Chiffchaff, Nuthatch & a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

Posted November 4th, 2017 at 10:04 am by Chris Marcol in General Birding

parakeet roost

around 40 ringneck parakeet central park all together b4 flying off for the day

Posted November 4th, 2017 at 9:41 am by barry in General Birding

Hawfinches Longdown

12 Hawfinches feeding on Beech and Hornbeam this morning.Several others heard  and will try and locate a roost site for a more accurate total.Sadly this is a private estate but hopefully birds will disperse around the vilaage 

Posted November 4th, 2017 at 9:19 am by Roy Adams Hungarian Bird Tours in General Birding

Friday 3rd November 2017

Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham

Great White Egret for ten minutes only at around 12:45 this lunchtime. (First I've seen on BGM). Must be the same bird seen by Nick Patel on the Exminster side.  It flew off over Goosemoor, it didn't land there but carried on to gain height to disappear from view well beyond Dart's Farm.

Posted November 3rd, 2017 at 11:33 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Fieldfares at Newton Abbot Racecourse

Over 12 Fieldfares seen flying around Newton Abbot racecourse this lunchtime. Very pale Common Buzzard present as well.

Posted November 3rd, 2017 at 7:10 pm by Kevin Johns in General Birding


Maxima of 12 or 14 Godwits on the scrape this morning. Ringing produced 5 Redwing, 8 Bullfinch, 2 Goldfinch, 3 Chaffinch, 4 Greenfinch (first of the autumn) 2 Song Thrush, 3 Blackbirds, 3 Goldcrests and a second Firecrest this week. No sign of the Chiffchaff seen yesterday.

Posted November 3rd, 2017 at 6:34 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Approx 3000 Starling in murmuration over the marsh from about 4.15 - 4.45 also 80-100 Avocet flew in underneath them Harassed, at times, by a pair of Sparrowhawks. In beautiful  light, gorgeous sunset - good day to forget my camera! 

Posted November 3rd, 2017 at 5:48 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Teignmouth Seafront 3rd November

Approximately 60 to 80 common scoter 300 metres off Sprey Point. Also massive feeding frenzy with gulls, comorants and shags. Appeared to be taking sand eels or something similar. Fantastic sight.

Posted November 3rd, 2017 at 5:00 pm by Patrick Case in General Birding

Brixham breakwater

Purple Sandpipers on Brixham breakwater.  3 seen today, all trying to rest but being rousted from time to time by Turnstones


Posted November 3rd, 2017 at 3:29 pm by Bill Coulson in General Birding

Darts Farm

A female Brambling amongst a small finch flock that was dropping from the hedgerow to feed among the crops this lunchtime.

Posted November 3rd, 2017 at 2:15 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Exminster marshes RSPB - 03/11/17

Great white egret briefly on scrapes adjacent to Station road at 12.30. Also female Merlin, Sparrowhawk, Marsh harrier, 5+ Cetti's warbler, 7 Stonechat, Green sandpiper...

Posted November 3rd, 2017 at 1:28 pm by Nick Patel in General Birding

Black Redstart

1w male Black Redstart on site of new build house in Moreleigh , 31/10/17, present for a week at least

Posted November 3rd, 2017 at 8:11 am by Paul Barker in General Birding

Hawfinch sighting

7 Hawfinch flew south, calling, over garden at Kingsdown close, Dawlish,at 7.20am,  3/11/17

Also Firecrest in garden for past week

Posted November 3rd, 2017 at 8:08 am by Paul Barker in General Birding

Thursday 2nd November 2017

Haldon Forest

Feeling a bit outdone by the plethora of Hawfinch records around the country in this autumn's unprecedented invasion, I though I would try the spot where I saw a few about 25 years ago near the Haldon Butterfly Trail. I failed to find Hornbeams where I recalled them being, but fortunately 2 Hawfinches calling alerted me to the presence of a single Hornbeam down the Tree Trail. Actually, they called as they flew out of it! At least 7 Crossbills were nearer the car park, and odd Redpolls flew over on several occasions. A lovely afternoon, with 2 Southern Hawkers and a late Speckled Wood adding to the summery feel.

Posted November 2nd, 2017 at 4:58 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Whitleigh woods

7 Redwings, 3 Mistle Thrush,2 Song Thrush, 2 Great spotted woodpeckers,3 Nuthatches,2 Coal Tits,two flocks of Long tailed Tits,10 + Goldcrests,4 Jays,and good numbers of Blue Tits.

Posted November 2nd, 2017 at 4:24 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

Garden First

No great news for most of you I'm sure, but I'm excited - having searched around Broadsands car park yesterday am to no avail, a Firecrest turned up in my garden in Paignton this pm.

Posted November 2nd, 2017 at 2:39 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

21 Black-tailed Godwits on the scrape this morning.

Posted November 2nd, 2017 at 1:02 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding


A very active morning by the river in Exeter (Exwick, northern limit of the flood relief channel).

2 Kingfisher, 2 Dipper, 1 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron, 3 Cormorant, 2 Little Grebe, 10+ Mallard, 8+ Moorhen, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Meadow Pipit, 30+ BH Gull, 10+ Herring Gull. 

In the surrounding trees and hedges, 5 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush and 1 Robin. A large Tit flock (30+) moved through, mostly Long-tailed with some Great and Blue Tits, in addition to 1 Goldcrest and 1 Firecrest.

Flying over were 3 Mute Swans (heading down river) and 1 GS Woodpecker.

Posted November 2nd, 2017 at 10:25 am by Mike Sampson in General Birding

Wednesday 1st November 2017

Plym Estuary

Little of note on today’s high tide, but 90+ Redshanks, 6 Dunlins and 29 Curlews using the pool. Also Common Sandpiper, 11 Turnstones, 15 Grey Herons and a Grey Wagtail.

Posted November 1st, 2017 at 10:13 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


The Wood pigeon migration was in full swing again this morning over South Brent just after 7.15am but only able to spend a short time watching but in that time over 900 pigeons came into view, a flock of some 500 for reasons known to themselves were headed out onto Dartmoor, possibly avoiding some the low lying fog that effected parts of the South Hams.

Broadsand's car parks, three Firecrest, two plus Goldcrest, a pair of Cirl Bunting, one possibly two Chiffchaff and a flock of at least fourteen Long Tailed Tit.

From the sea wall ten Eider and eight Scoter a long way off, one Great Crested Grebe and one Red Necked Grebe.


Posted November 1st, 2017 at 5:45 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


Flat, calm sea but haze made viewing difficult at a distance this am:-      1 R-t Diver; 1 B-n Grebe; 4-6 G-c Grebe; 8 Common Scoter (all f/juv types); 10 Eider. Despite a thorough search around both car parks by myself and several others, only bird of note: 1 m Cirl Bunting near the entrance to the overflow car park. Several Red Admirals & a Migrant Hawker around car parks also.

Posted November 1st, 2017 at 4:14 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Horsey Island

Photo of flock of Golden Plover on Horsey. Is there anyone who would rise to the challenge of counting them one at a time?

Posted November 1st, 2017 at 3:47 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

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