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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Thursday 7th December 2017

Turf on the Exe

7th Dec 2017 , Nice circular walk around Exminster Marshes with lots of birds. Peregrine and Marsh Harriers providing drama and excitement

Grey Plover at Turf  Mute Swan  Red-breasted Merganser
Grey Plover at Turf                               Mute Swan                              Red-breasted Merganser

Posted December 7th, 2017 at 10:07 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Fremington Quay

1Spoonbill at the mouth of Fremington Pill at 4pm.  5 Little Egrets flew over the Pill. 

Posted December 7th, 2017 at 9:29 pm by Paul Bearman in General Birding

Dartington Hawfinch

4 Hawfinch showing well in the yew tree this morning at 9.30 and also add to Steve hoppers post that the bird feeder is placed in a private field with no public access  ( I volunteer up there)

Posted December 7th, 2017 at 6:17 pm by Hamish johnson in General Birding


Spent am at Broadsands after ran had cleared  hoping winds had blown something into Torbay. However, still quite quiet: 3 Gt N Divers  was the best on the sea.

Back of the overflow car park proved better: at least 7 Cirl Bunting (4m, 3f) seen at once; 1 Reed bunting coming to seed and a Siberian Chiffchaff flitted into scope view at the bottom of the bushes behind 2 feeding Cirls. Oh for a decent camera!

Posted December 7th, 2017 at 5:41 pm by David Holloway in General Birding

Long-tailed Tits

Arrived home from work and decided to top-up the feeders before the light went completely, but as there were 5 Long-tailed Tits on the suet balls and seed, I decided to leave it until the morning.

Posted December 7th, 2017 at 4:48 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding


A firecrest feeding in my back yard this morning with a goldcrest and long tailed tits before moving off towards Beaumont Park was a nice find. Even better was a smart male black redstart feeding in the palms outside Costa Coffee in the city centre this afternoon (opposite the Drakes Circus shopping mall entrance).

Posted December 7th, 2017 at 4:15 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding


A few more images from today's visit to Dartington Hall, seen were 10 plus Brambling, Linnet, Yellow Hammer, Cirl Bunting, Reed Bunting, Nuthatch, Wren, Jay, good numbers of both Blue and Great Tita small flock of Fieldfare, a flock of approx 60 wood pigeon and a white hen Pheasant.

In the Yew where the Hawfinch have been seen several Goldcrest, a Greenfinch and a Song Thrush.

Apparently there is a feeder down by the river below the field in which the finches are feeding which attracts a good range of species and worth locating for future visits.

The hide on the flood meadows looks to be just about complete, good number of gulls and ducks there this morning.


Posted December 7th, 2017 at 3:09 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary 06 December

Yesterday in gloomy overcast conditions, 2 large flocks of Golden Plover flew in at about 1000ft, remaining in the air for about an hour from 1000hrs, some 3 hours after high tide.  Impossible to count the huge wheeling flocks accurately on the day: I thought a few hundred.   From photographs, I have just counted at least 1200 birds: I will try to verify and check numbers later this month.  

Posted December 7th, 2017 at 2:23 pm by Michael Woodman Smith in General Birding

Underwood, Plympton

Birds seem to be moving a bit today. A Firecrest in our garden briefly this morning around 08:25. Shortly afterwards three Little Egrets flew west. One male Blackcap in the garden too (over the last few days I've seen two males and a female).

Posted December 7th, 2017 at 9:24 am by Jason Smart in General Birding

Wednesday 6th December 2017

Haldon Hawfinches

A couple of recent quick visits to Haldon - yesterday a brief view of 1 Hawfinch at around 9.15 am. This lunchtime, further brief views of 2 Hawfinches at around 1 o'clock.

Posted December 6th, 2017 at 10:26 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Italian Sparrow East Budleigh

In case anybody was after recent news I saw the Italian Sparrow on the feeders in Cadbury Gardens between 9.00-9.30 this morning. 

Posted December 6th, 2017 at 6:17 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Exminster marshes RSPB - 06/12/17

Fantastic morning on the marshes at high tide... Highlights of 28 Brent geese, 29 Pintail, 1512 Wigeon, 146 Teal, 41 Shoveler, 69 Bar-tailed godwit, 1278 Black-tailed godwit, 655 Dunlin, 81 Curlew, 66 Redshank, 1006 lapwing, 15 Golden plover, 2 Kingfisher and a nice pair of Peregrine hawking the marshes throughout... Cetti's, Bullfinch, Redwing and Stonechat seen regularly throughout the morning...

Posted December 6th, 2017 at 6:16 pm by Nick Patel in General Birding

South Huish Marsh - Spoonbill

Spoonbill showing well at South Huish Marsh 12.45 - 1545 hrs. Still present when I left. 10 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Lapwing and several Stonechat in supporting cast.

Posted December 6th, 2017 at 4:35 pm by David Pakes in General Birding


No sign of the reported Hawfinch but the visit did give good views of a large Chaffinch flock which also contained at least six Brambling, three Cirl Bunting, one Yellow Hammer, good numbers of Linnet, Wren and Goldcrest also in good numbers.

A flock of over 200 Redwings flew over and a flock of some 300 plus Wood pigeons lifted from trees along the Rv Dart.

The Chaffinch flock was feeding on the roadside Beech mast and in the seed crop field at the entrance to Park and towards the Deer viewing point.

Posted December 6th, 2017 at 12:47 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Tuesday 5th December 2017


5 Hawfinch seen today in the churchyard at Plymtree - the birds were feeding in a very large yew and also perching in surrounding trees

Posted December 5th, 2017 at 9:07 pm by Paul Thrush in General Birding

Willand Nr Cullumpton

Ring-necked Parakeet in scrubland between industrial units & M5 sighting brief bird mobbed by crows

Posted December 5th, 2017 at 8:55 pm by Peter Salter in General Birding

Horsey Island

Photo of the mud & sand flats at low tide at Horsey taken from the White House looking towards the village of Braunton in the distance.

Excellent feeding opportunities for a good number of wader species.

Posted December 5th, 2017 at 6:26 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Trew's Weir

Cackling Goose associating with Greylag cross. No bins or scope so long distance photo.Also a pair of Little grebe fishing just below the weir. 

Cackling Goose
Cackling Goose

Posted December 5th, 2017 at 4:07 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Woodbury Castle - Bramblings

At least 6 Brambling including 1 male among mixed flock of Chaffinches and Tits

Posted December 5th, 2017 at 1:55 pm by Ray Jones in General Birding

Kings bridge Estuary

Knocked out by my first visit to Charleton Marsh and Wareham Point.  Single Spoonbill flew north up the estuary towards Kingsbridge this morning at 10:00hrs on falling tide.  3 pairs Red-breasted Mergansers mid channel.

Posted December 5th, 2017 at 1:45 pm by Michael Woodman-Smith in General Birding

Monday 4th December 2017

Barn owl ~ South Brent

At 20.30hrs this evening I had a Barn owl fly out from one of my outbuildings, the bird flew off towards Harwell Lane, South Brent.

At 05.30hrs this morning listening to a Tawny owl calling in the garden when getting up for an early start to head of to RSPB Ham Wall for the day.


Posted December 4th, 2017 at 8:58 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Hawfinches at Haldon

Fortunate enough to see Hawfinches at a lower level and on the edge of the wood


Posted December 4th, 2017 at 7:14 pm by bob barrow in General Birding


Out on the scrape only 76 Black-tailed Godwits today + 1 Green Sandpiper and a Little Egret. In the reserve Water Rail, Treecreeper, 4 Reed Buntings, Good numbers of Tits and well as about 30 Redwings. Biggest surprise was the return of the Little Grebe, which has been absent for over 3 weeks.

Posted December 4th, 2017 at 6:59 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Haldon Forrest

5-8 Hawfinch showing this morning but elusive in tree tops under pylons in area they have been showing regularly.  Also a pair of Crossbill present at same place. 

NOTE: A number of birders have commented that they had difficulty finding the site when they first visited and had walked in from the main visitors car park on Haldon!  The site is at map ref: SX870851 (post code: EX6 7QX) and is found by taking the lane down from Haldon Belvedere Castle towards Trusham and Chudleigh.  After about a mile park nearest to where the pylons cross the road (limited parking). The birds favour Hornbeam trees west of the pylons.  Hope this helps!


Posted December 4th, 2017 at 5:39 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Yelland/Isley Marsh

Male Marsh Harrier over the old power station site N at 15:00. More than 1000 Lapwing, 400 Dunlin, 130 Teal, 140 Golden Plover on the Taw sandbanks by Isley Marsh, plus two Spoonbill (one ringed adult GYG BML, one juvenile), at 15:30.

Posted December 4th, 2017 at 4:38 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Southdown Farm, Bolberry

Highlight today was a large influx of 49 Song Thrush and a good count of 43 Cirl Bunting. Also: 2 Red-legged Partridge, 37 Stock Dove, 435 Skylark, 27 Meadow Pipit, Mistle Thrush, 71 House Sparrow, 110 Chaffinch, 170 Linnet & 40 Yellowhammer.

Non-avian: 6 Roe Deer

Posted December 4th, 2017 at 2:23 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Velator Quay

Good view of a male Marsh Harrier at 11am......drifted off toward the River Taw, fabulous looking bird !

Posted December 4th, 2017 at 1:56 pm by Alan Denzey in General Birding

Exe Cruise on 2 December

Late news from Saturday's Stuart Lines birdwatching cruise, which saw very large numbers of birds, right from the hordes of gulls and Brent Geese around Pole Sands up to the large flocks of Avocets and Black-tailed Godwits at Topsham. Wigeon, Brents and Oystercatchers all seemed to be in larger numbers than usual.

The immature Great Northern Diver and the 'resident' Slavonian Grebe were both off Cockwood, while at least 21 Great Crested Grebes (a personal record for the estuary) were scattered between Lympstone and the Clyst. Around 100 Pintail were in the same area, while c50 Golden Plover flew in to roost on the mud to join the hundreds of Lapwings already present. A dozen or more Greenshanks were in the central areas, while 30 or more Knot were among large numbers of Dunlin towards Topsham. A Black Swan was with Mutes near Powderham, and before and after the cruise started a Kingfisher and Guillemot, respectively, were seen from the boat at Exmouth.

We had three brief sightings of seal heads, perhaps relating to two Common (Harbour) Seals, while a Grey Seal hauled out on a floating platform off Dawlish Warren had as good a look at us as we did of it!

Posted December 4th, 2017 at 12:37 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Sunday 3rd December 2017

Dart Bridge & Newton Abbot

A run around various spots in the Dart Bridge and Newton Abbot areas this morning.

22 plus Mandarin duck on the Rv Dart at Buckfastleigh, along with two Dippers, a male Goosander and 11 plus Long Tailed Tits.


Jetty Marsh Lane, Newton Abbot, several pairs of Mallard, Heron, Little Egret, Song Thrush, Goldcrest, Long Tailed Tit, Sparrow hawk.

At the Passage House Inn I saw a female Sparrow hawk come so close to taking a landing Common Sandpiper  I still can't understand how the intended victim managed to survive, several Redshank went off in a panic, Song Thrush and Little Egret in the area.

At home in South Brent very smart Nuthatch visiting and two male GSWP.

Posted December 3rd, 2017 at 9:06 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Fremington Quay

Female goosander fishing in the River Taw as the tide was coming in at 1530. 

Posted December 3rd, 2017 at 7:34 pm by Paul Bearman in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

from the hide this afternoon (15.00), 200+ dark bellied brent, great northern diver, 7 rbm, greenshank, adult med gull, fem cirl bunting..

on the seaward side, 17 great crested grebe..

Posted December 3rd, 2017 at 6:34 pm by Nick Patel in General Birding


3 Spoonbill on the scrape at Wrafton this evening as the light was fading. 

Posted December 3rd, 2017 at 6:00 pm by Kelvin Irwin in General Birding

In the garden, combemartin.

Plenty of bird life in the garden today, 3 Robins, male blackcap, blackbirds m&f, mistel thrush, jackdaws, 9 goldfinches, chaffinches and greenfinches which I haven't seen in the garden for a couple of years. Not sure if a good or bad thing but house Sparrows furnishing a used nest with material especially the pampas grass fluffy bits both male and female collecting. 

Posted December 3rd, 2017 at 5:50 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Woodbury Castle

An estimated 250 Bramblings foraging on the north-east side of the fort at around 2.15 before dispersing. Prior to this they were in smaller, looser flocks mixed with Chaffinches, which they comfortably outnumbered.

Posted December 3rd, 2017 at 5:34 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

Haldon Hawfinches

Nice views despite poor light this afternoon down from the pylon lines


Posted December 3rd, 2017 at 5:18 pm by John Deakins in General Birding


6 Hawfinch still early afternoon under the pylons near the entrance to the butterfly trail, viewable from the road and showing well.  c6 Brambling nearby near the Belvedere Tower. Earlier c50 Brambling at Woodbury Castle

Posted December 3rd, 2017 at 2:49 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding


Viewed from the Tarka Trail, about 153 Black-tailed Godwits on the scrape this morning with a Redshank. Over near the reserve, a Green Sandpiper and a Water Pipit.

In the reserve, a female Sparrowhawk flying through the trees with an unidentified squealing prey item! Probably a Blackbird. It flew out of the reserve towards the scrape, putting up all the Godwits, and the Canada Geese!

A collection of feathers on one of the paths looked like a Blackbird, but on closer inspection were more likely from a Water Rail. Little else of note.

Posted December 3rd, 2017 at 1:35 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Capstone (Ilfracombe)

3 Purple Sandpiper on Capstone Point this morning.

Posted December 3rd, 2017 at 1:23 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

parrots in central park

parrots in central park around 40 altogether

Eds: Ring-necked (Rose-ringed )Parakeets

Posted December 3rd, 2017 at 11:13 am by barry in General Birding

Great White Egret- Newton Ferrers

Flying over the village towards Wembury last Thursday

Posted December 3rd, 2017 at 10:34 am by steve Edmondson in General Birding

Saturday 2nd December 2017

Haldon Brambling

Some Brambling in with other tits and finches in a flock. Seen near the car park just after Belvedere.

Posted December 2nd, 2017 at 8:48 pm by Samuel Gray in General Birding

Ludwell, Matford, Exe - 02/12/17

ludwell valley this AM: 2 kingfisher, dipper, 2 GSW, 3 bullfinch, common chiffchaff, 7 goldcrest, jay, little egret..

matford marsh 15.00: no sign of american wigeon but 57 wigeon, 8 shoveler, 13 teal, 13 blackwit, 12 snipe, 5 stock dove, 13 redwing, fieldfare, 2 common chiffchaff, 9 goldcrest..

On the Exe this afternoon (c16.30) (from Topsham ferry jetty), on a nice high tide: 2 cattle egret flew past to sludge beds (16.38), decent sized starling murmuration (3000-4000?) before retreating to the reedbeds... also 3 little egret, little grebe, 3 water rail, 2 common sandpiper, 3 cettis, 2 kingfisher, 150+ pied over (to roost locally?)..

Posted December 2nd, 2017 at 7:58 pm by Nick Patel in General Birding

Isley marsh

7 Spoonbill at western end of reserve at 4pm, feeding at high tide. 

Posted December 2nd, 2017 at 7:12 pm by Paul Bearman in General Birding

Short Eared Owl at Berry Head

Short eared owl seen at Berry Head this afternoon. Not a great picture but hopefully enough to ID from.

Posted December 2nd, 2017 at 6:51 pm by Carole Wren in General Birding


Hawfinch in Yew in village this morning

Posted December 2nd, 2017 at 6:41 pm by Richard Turner per Ray Jones in General Birding

Seaton Marshes

2 Bearded Tits in reeds close to Tower Hide at 1100 this morning. Also male Blackcap, Cetti's Warbler and Chiffchaff.

Female Black Redstart in Colyford.

Posted December 2nd, 2017 at 6:39 pm by Ray Jones in General Birding


Firecrest through the garden again twice today. Redwing cleared all the berries off the cotoneaster yesterday.

Posted December 2nd, 2017 at 6:37 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Haldon Forest

A late afternoon amble around the Tree Trail spotted a good size gathering of Siskins. 6 Crossbills (3 male 3 female) and 2 female Roe deer. Alas the Hawfinches aluded me. 

Posted December 2nd, 2017 at 5:42 pm by Val Grehan in General Birding

Hawfinches exeter

St Thomas church held at least 3 hawfinch this afternoon showing well at times but also flying across cowlck street to the park opposite the church also 40+ redwing , 5 mistletoe thrush, 1 chiffchaff lots of goldcrests easily 20+ every tree seamed to have them in , 8+ long tailed tits, 1 coal tit, 20+ greenfinch.

after took a walk along the river Exe , 1 dipper around the mill on the Exe and another individual at the st David's end of the river past the start of the flood relief defences, 6 bullfinch. 

Posted December 2nd, 2017 at 5:35 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding


6 Spoonbills out on the scrape early morning. Gone by 9.30. Also there during the morning about 100 flighty Black-tailed Godwits, and later Redshank and Green Sandpiper.

In the reserve 2 Chiffchaffs (one ringed). Found the remains of another Redshank in one of my mist-nets this morning. I suspect Sparrowhawk, and later caught an adult female (ringed in March last year) in the same net! Late on I also caught an adult male Sparrowhawk! 40 birds ringed mostly Green and Chaffinches, but 4 Redwing and 5 Song Thrush were notable.

Posted December 2nd, 2017 at 5:07 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the Lower Lake

7 Goosander 5m 2f, 14 Tufted Duck, 3 Willow Tit, 4 Marsh Tit, 12 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Grey Heron, 13 Teal, 37 Coot, 12 Moorhen, 8 Wigeon, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, c60 Mallard.

Posted December 2nd, 2017 at 3:34 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Haldon Brambling

Some Bramblings mixed in with other tits and finches in a flock. Seen by the car park just after Belvedere Castle.

Posted December 2nd, 2017 at 3:32 pm by Samuel Gray in General Birding

Exe Estuary

Walk along the Exe this morning on a low tide on the estuary amongst the notable birds were: Little Egret, Curlew, Mute Swans, Redshanks, Bar-Tailed & Black Tailed Godwits, 250+ Wigeon, Brant Geese, 35+ Avocet, 200+ Shelduck, Sanderlings, Dunlins, Redshanks, Oystercatcher, Cormorants, Mallards, Great Black Back Gulls,  Lapwings, Grey Plover & Grey Heron. In addition viewed a Buzzard being mobbed by 2 Crows, Goldfinches, Pied Wagtails & a Chiffchaff at the path entrance at the Powderham Church end.

Posted December 2nd, 2017 at 1:53 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Friday 1st December 2017


After spending weeks trying to get a half decent picture of Fieldfares and Redwings without them flying off within 100m,i finally found them after i made a visit to Dartmeet. The first field i looked in next to the Pixie Cafe presented itself with these fantastic and beautiful birds. Also on the moor were 4 firecrests that were too quick for my camera.

Fieldfare            Redwing
Fieldfare                             Redwing

Posted December 1st, 2017 at 7:59 pm by duncan leitch in General Birding

Broadsands 01-12-17

The white Bellied Brent Goose was on the beach area, but soon flew off when it clocked us, flew towards Paignton. Also a Buzzard being attacked by a 8 Carrion Crows over the beach area.


Posted December 1st, 2017 at 7:09 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

01-12-17 Goodrington Park Marsh

2 Fire crests showing very well in the marsh area of Goodrington Park, plenty of Long Tail Tits, about a dozen Redwings, along with the usual common birds


Posted December 1st, 2017 at 7:03 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

St Thomas Churchyard, Exeter

Hawfinch along with 30+ Redwing, 10 Greenfinch & 6 Chaffinch early this morning in the Yews & Oak tree.

Posted December 1st, 2017 at 5:33 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Southdown Farm, Bolberry

Just a hint of a cold weather influx with 5 Snipe, 16 Stock Dove, 290 Skylark, 16 Song Thrush, 40 Chaffinch, 130 Linnet & 30 Yellowhammer.

Non-avian: 3 female Roe Deer. 

Posted December 1st, 2017 at 3:47 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

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