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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Tuesday 14th November 2017

Otter estuary

4 ring plover and common sandpiper 3.30 pm

Posted November 14th, 2017 at 7:48 pm by Marie Leahy in General Birding


A small flock of around 20 scoter and 1 great Northern diver from memorial car par. a second GND from Strete gate where many thousands for starlings put  on a spectacular display from 4.10 -4.20 before going down close to the road at sStrete gate

Posted November 14th, 2017 at 4:50 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding

Brambling @ Soussons

Below the entrance to Soussons farm late this morning a flock of 20 plus Brambling's found feeding on beech mast, incredibly difficult to spot against the fallen beech leaves. A good number of Coal Tit with some Great Tit, Wren, Nuthatch, GSWP and Jay also present.


Near Venford a large mixed flock of Redwing and Fieldfare feeding on Hawthorn berries with some birds bathing in a puddle on a moorland track.

Near Powder Mill a large flock of Fieldfare feeding on the moor, a flock of some 12 plus birds believed to be Crossbill flew over the pine plantation just up from the entrance to the mill and some where up on the moor a female Sparrow hawk.


Posted November 14th, 2017 at 4:32 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Haldon, yesterday late news

Hawfinches were frustratingly mobile yesterday afternoon, with several people reporting brief perched views and flybys of individual birds and flocks of up to 6. Activity seemed to be centred around the pylon line around the top (north) end of the butterfly conservation area, and the adjacent lane.


Posted November 14th, 2017 at 1:56 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Rillage Point to Watermouth

My first visit to my local patch for 6 months, due to a succession of commitments elsewhere, was rewarded with some good late-season visible migration, in spite of (or perhaps because of) the unpromising weather conditions of claggy low cloud, patchy drizzle and a stiff W breeze... From 07.30 to 08.30: Starling 24, Fieldfare 20, Song Thrush 5, Redwing 196, Brambling 20, Chaffinch 438 (in flocks of up to 50), Linnet 2, Goldfinch 6, Siskin 28. Unusually, there was no dominant direction of movement, perhaps an indication that migrants were disorientated by the poor visibility.

Posted November 14th, 2017 at 9:27 am by Tim Jones in General Birding

Monday 13th November 2017

Powderham Marsh/Exmiinster.

Albino/Leucistic Finch seen at Powderham Marsh in the field where the Obs platform is - flew off north and not refound. I sent pic and vid to Devon Birds ID and was thought to be a possible Bullfinch. See what you think. Also on Exminster Marsh, of interest, Egyptian Goose and male Merlin over as Starlings began murmuration.

Video of Albino bird -

Best still from vid of Albino Bird
Best still from vid of Albino Bird

Posted November 13th, 2017 at 10:33 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Slapton ley

Black necked Grebe on Ley close to the concrete pill box on the nature trail going to Ireland bay. From the bridge a Water Rail and on the sea a single Great Northern Diver. The starlings, irritatingly, roosted up by Strete gate at the Northern end of the Ley well away from where i was waiting on the bridge.

Posted November 13th, 2017 at 9:45 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding


The Black Brant was off West Lodge late this afternoon, close in to the railway line with a few Dark-bellied Brents. 

Posted November 13th, 2017 at 7:53 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings for Lower Tamar Lake this morning,
3m Goosander, 11 Tufted Duck, 12 Great Crested Grebe, 28 Coot, 2 Grey Heron, 3 Great Black-backed Gull, c50 Black-headed Gull, 5 Wigeon, 1 Kingfisher, 6 Snipe, 1f Stonechat, 3 Marsh Tit, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Willow Tit, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Wren, 10 Moorhen.

Posted November 13th, 2017 at 7:32 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Yelland old power station

Late afternoon, tide falling.

Firecrest on its own, 3 Goldcrest further along Tarka Trail.

10 Common Gull in with large flocks of BHG and Herring Gull on tilled fields.

At outflow west of power station, 153 Black tailed Godwit, 4 Bar tailed Godwit, plus 3 Grey Plover, Greenshank, 20 Curlew, 2 Dunlin, Lapwings and Wigeon not counted. All but the Wigeon (and a few hundred gulls) tolerated the dog walkers coming past.

Posted November 13th, 2017 at 5:28 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Southdown Farm

Some good numbers in great viewing conditions inc.2 Sparrowhawk, 270 Woodpigeon overhead, 430 Skylark on stubbles, still thrushes moving through with 21 Blackbird, 3 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare & 6 Song Thrush inc.2N, 7 Long-tailed Tit, 110 Linnet, Reed  Bunting, 35 Yellowhammer & 22 Cirl Bunting.

Non-avian: 3 Red Admiral.

Posted November 13th, 2017 at 4:20 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Exmouth- Exe Estuary

19 members of DB (East Devon Branch) had an enjoyable morning along the estuary north (almost) as far as West Lodge.  At low tide there were high numbers of Brent Geese and Wigeon feeding on Cockle Sand with a few Pintail and numbers of waders chasing the tide line, including a good number of Turnstone and Redshank.  Further out were Red-breasted Merganser and a very distant group of Sanderling towards Cockwood (found by my co-leader Glen Vernall).  A Kingfisher and two Grey Wagtail showed at the stream outlet from Carter Avenue. 

A young couple walking their dog along Cockle Sand seemed oblivious to the disturbance their large dog was causing by chasing birds on the reserve mud banks and coincidentally I met 'Molly' the Cocker/Springer Spaniel (better known for eating the Spotted Crake at Woodbury Castle recently).

Posted November 13th, 2017 at 3:33 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Maer Rocks, Exmouth

6 Purple Sandpipers this morning - on far end of rocks.   Low tide only at this location.

Posted November 13th, 2017 at 1:33 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding


Fine conditions and lots of birds in the reserve this morning. Highlights were a Song Thrush, Goldcrest, Little Grebe, Treecreeper, Buzzard, Reed Bunting, Siskin, and 2 Water Rails seen. Around 75 Godwits out on the scrape. The sunshine also tempted out a Red Admiral which briefly alighted on my sleeve!

Posted November 13th, 2017 at 1:26 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


09.30 Glossy Ibis and redhead Goosander on fremington pill. 1 Ruff and 1 Common Gull on the Taw.

Posted November 13th, 2017 at 11:02 am by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Sunday 12th November 2017

Home Farm marsh

Merlin seen from the Tarka Trail at 1610 in field to west of Saltpill Duck Pond. 

Posted November 12th, 2017 at 8:15 pm by Paul Bearman in General Birding

Northbrook, Exeter

2 Green Sandpiper (6 at dusk yesterday) and Grey Wagtail in culvert today. Also of interest yesterday, further down towards the Crematorium, Dipper.

Short video of Green Sandpiper and associated Grey Wagtail

Green Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper

Posted November 12th, 2017 at 2:08 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Brixham Breakwater

3 purple sandpipers.

Posted November 12th, 2017 at 12:49 pm by Samuel Gray in General Birding

Preston Seafront

4 Little Egrets, 15 Turnstones, 12 Oystercatchers, several Shags, approx: 30 Black Headed Gulls.

Posted November 12th, 2017 at 11:55 am by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Exminster marshes RSPB - 12-11-17

Quick scan from Station road, on the rising tide this AM; 112 dunlin, 13 knot, 200+ golden plover, many hundreds of blackwit, curlew, wigeon, teal and shoveler. And a nice female Merlin zooming through to top it off nicely :-)

Posted November 12th, 2017 at 9:45 am by Nick Patel in General Birding

Saturday 11th November 2017

Upper and Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake.

3m Goosander, 11 Tufted Duck, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 26 Coot, 2 Gadwall, 1 Shoveler, 10 Wigeon, c40 Mallard, 1 Great Black-backed Gull.
The Hide.
2 Willow Tit, 2 Great Tit, 3 Coal Tit, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Gold Crest, 3 Blue Tit, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Car Park
3 Blue Tit, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, 3 Chaffinch

Upper Lake
1f Goosander, 5 Cormorant, 16 Mallard, 1 Grey Heron, 3 Great Black-backed Gulls, 250 Black - headed Gull and Herring Gulls, 1f Stonechat, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 16 Mallard, c400 Starling.

Posted November 11th, 2017 at 8:33 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding


Windy but surprisingly no rain while I walked around the reserve this morning. No repeat of yesterday's Red Admiral, and no Dragonflies either. Birds were mostly nearby rather than in the reserve: 70+ Godwits on the scrape, 25 very skittish Canada Geese. 3 Little Egrets, and a selection of Ducks. Best was a female Goosander and a Dipper in the stream by the field entrance.

Posted November 11th, 2017 at 1:45 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Teigngrace cattle egrets

One bird in amongst dozen or so little egrets following Twelve Oaks herd in pylon field

Posted November 11th, 2017 at 12:17 pm by KenDainton in General Birding

East Budleigh "Italian" Sparrow

A sparrow showing strong plumage characters of Italian Sparrow (with a slight bill deformity) has been present in East Budleigh for several days and is still present today. Thanks to the co-operation of some local residents and an RSPB donation of bird feeders I have been working hard to negotiate plans to enable the bird to be viewed for those that wish to see it. Previously only visible from private property, the bird is now visible from a more suitable specially organised viewing area on Wynards Road - See Map.

The bird is visiting feeders with the local House Sparrows. Please view this area from the pavement rather than the grassed area to avoid disturbance and to maintain privacy to local residents. If there is no sign of the bird here it is also visiting feeders in Cadbury Gardens where the local resident is aware of the bird's presence.

The bird does spend much of its time in private gardens and is often not visible from public rights of way.

Please view from one of 2 bird feeder locations shown on the map and be patient.
East Budleigh village has limited parking.

Please abide by the following simple rules to ensure any disruption to the local residents is kept to an absolute minimum.

1 - Parking as shown on Map
Free car park off Hayes Lane or on the main B3178 Road at Oak Hill

2 - Respect people’s privacy 
Please be patient as the bird will eventually visit one of the bird feeders shown on the map

Many thanks to one of the local residents for alerting me to this interesting looking bird in the first instance.

Posted November 11th, 2017 at 11:22 am by Chris Townend in General Birding

Higher Godsworthy

2 hour walk this morning prtoduced 2 Ring Ouzel 3 Mistle Thrush 4 Redwing 35 Fieldfare 3 Raven 2 Buzzard 3 Pied Wagtail 10 Rook 250 Starling Skylark and Blue Tit

Ring Ouzel    Fieldfare
Ring Ouzel                                                                       Fieldfare

Posted November 11th, 2017 at 10:36 am by Roger Backway in General Birding

Friday 10th November 2017

Fernworthy reservoir

Walk round the reservoir this morning in the sunshine.

Carrion crow, Buzzard, 4 tufted duck, 4 cormorant, Grey heron, Jay, Chaffinch, 3 blue tit, Great tit, Great spotted woodpecker, 20+ fieldfare, 3 redwing, Grey wagtail, 2 pied wagtail, 2 goldfinch, 3 goldcrest, Robin, Blackbird.

Posted November 10th, 2017 at 10:14 pm by Trevor Wilkinson in General Birding

Haldon Hill

Early morning visit to the Butterfly Walk, led to 11+ Hawfinch in the Hornbeams & surrounding firs. 

Posted November 10th, 2017 at 9:51 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A Woodcock, Jack Snipe and 2 Snipe made a nice trio and some reasonable wader counts on the high tide, with 40+ Curlews, 130+ Redshanks, 5 Greenshanks, 25 Turnstones, 15 Dunlins and 5 Oystercatchers. Also: adult sinensis Cormorant, 13 Grey Herons, 10 Little Egrets, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail. 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Little Grebes and a flock of 21 Redwings over.

Posted November 10th, 2017 at 5:39 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Exminster marshes RSPB - 10/11/2017

1 Hawfinch over the marshes at 12.00

Posted November 10th, 2017 at 4:55 pm by Nick Patel in General Birding

Abridge Farm Sandford

Bramling on feeder this am. First here for several years

Posted November 10th, 2017 at 12:17 pm by Richard Burston in General Birding

Thursday 9th November 2017

Exminster marshes - 9th Nov 17

Hawfinch over (13.00), Great white egret flew through marshes, towards Topsham, Marsh harrier, Peregrine, 2 Raven, 200+ Golden plover, 30+ Dunlin, 30+ Blackwit, 2 Snipe, 2 Water rail, 200+ Redwing and 10+ Fieldfare (through), 7 Bullfinch, 3 Cetti's warbler, 2 Lesser redpoll over, 3 Siskin (over) and Brambling (over)

Posted November 9th, 2017 at 5:09 pm by Nick Patel in General Birding

Wednesday 8th November 2017

Brixham Breakwater

An hour on the breakwater this afternoon saw 3 Purple sandpiper, 4 Turnstone, 2 Razorbill, 1 Shag, 1 Rock Pipit and approx 40 Kittiwake moving across the bay.

Purple Sandpiper Purple Sandpiper Kittiwake
Purple Sandpiper                       Purple Sandpiper                                        Kittiwake

Posted November 8th, 2017 at 8:01 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding


30 Hawfinches were feeding in hornbeams and perching in conifers north of the track that crosses underneath the pylons on the butterfly trail from 13:30 to at least 15:30. Also 9 Crossbills in the area.


Posted November 8th, 2017 at 4:43 pm by Laurie Allnatt in General Birding

Emsworthy Ring Ouzels

At least 5 Ring Ouzels, plus about 50 Fieldfares, feeding on hawthorn berries and sloes - no livestock issues!


Posted November 8th, 2017 at 3:25 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding

Powderham Marshes RSPB - 8th Nov 17

Early morning wander around Powderham marsh RSPB produced 4 Hawfinch briefly, 1 Brambling, Cirl bunting, 50+ Redwing, 8 Bullfinch, c35 lapwing, 3 Little egret, 2 Green sandpiper (Stoat)...

Posted November 8th, 2017 at 8:16 am by Nick Patel in General Birding

Emsworthy update from Devon Wildlife Trust – livestock

Many thanks to Devon Birds members for your Emsworthy Mire records and images. This year’s include great grey shrike, redstarts, cuckoos, ring ouzels, hawfinches, bramblings, golden plovers and many others. It’s a relatively new reserve and your help with building up seasonal species lists (birds and other taxa) is greatly appreciated.
An aggressive cattle incident was reported on this page on Monday. We understand it involved a small band of all-black animals plus calf, lurking across the Becka Brook about 1km NW from the red-roofed barn. (The barn area is where the ouzels and other thrushes are currently feasting on hawthorn.) The fence is new, so the uninvited cows must have entered the reserve through an open gate. We’re tracing their owner. Meanwhile please proceed with caution in the fields north of the ponds, and close any gates left open by other visitors. Please email with any further information. Thanks again – Andrew Taylor (voluntary warden).

Posted November 8th, 2017 at 7:09 am by Andrew Taylor in General Birding

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