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  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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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 by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Thursday 7th December 2017

Hawfinch at Haldon

7th Dec 2017, Hawfinches feeding all afternoon, still around when we left at 1630hrs

Male Hawfinch feding on Hornbeam  
Male Hawfinch feeding on Hornbeam

Posted December 7th, 2017 at 10:11 pm by Barry Rankine in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Start Point 28 November

Following the substantial passage of  intermedius or fuscus Lesser Black-backed Gulls on 27 November at Start Point, I returned on the 28 November to try to  take photos of any stragglers.  Three such gulls passed the point that morning; photos of one gull (necessarily taken into the light) are attached below.  In my opinion, the photos show the characteristics of the nominate Larus fuscus fuscus ('Baltic Gull') as opposed to Larus fuscus intermedius.


Eds: despite the against the light photos not being easy to assess the structure of the bird - particularly bill and extent of head streaking - rule out fuscus (currently only ringed birds accepted anyway) at best perhaps intermedius  but could still be graellsii as there is contrast between primaries and the rest of the upperwing see adjusted photo below.

Posted December 7th, 2017 at 9:00 pm by Michael Woodman Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 5th December 2017


Yellow-browed Warbler present again briefly at Bossell Park, Buckfastleigh, late am.

Posted December 5th, 2017 at 3:16 pm by Andy Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 4th December 2017

Horsey Island

11 Ruff on Horsey lunchtime today.

Posted December 4th, 2017 at 6:59 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


At least six Hawfinches feeding in the yews around the old church at Dartington Hall, they could be very elusive their presence only given away by the cracking of the yew kernels.

A bit of video here:   & 

Posted December 4th, 2017 at 2:49 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Lovely views of a Yellow-browed Warbler with Goldcrests and Blue tits at Bossell Park, Buckfastleigh, late am.

Posted December 4th, 2017 at 11:51 am by Andy Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 3rd December 2017

Haldon Hawfinchs

The Hawfinchs were showing quite well early-ish morning at Haldon in the same place that they have been seen feeding on the Hornbeams nest to the pylon.

Posted December 3rd, 2017 at 9:43 pm by Samuel Gray in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Horsey Island

1 Merlin flying low & fast over the sand & mud flats spooking the Dunlin, Greenshank & Black tailed Godwits. Soon settled down again to carry on searching for food. 3 Ruff still present.

Tide flowing in rapidly through the breach in the sea wall from R.Caen as I was leaving. The continuing erosion of the inside of the sea wall on the   Horsey side (see photo). Could be a second breach within a few days or so & with high spring tides the majority of the interior of Horsey will be flooded again.                        


Posted December 3rd, 2017 at 5:05 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 1st December 2017

Common Scoter

3 female Common Scoters arrived today at Downend.

Posted December 1st, 2017 at 5:33 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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