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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Thursday 14th December 2017


Looking toward Goodrington from Broadsands produced the following: 1 Red-necked Grebe, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 19 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Red-throated Diver, 13 Common Scoter. Over toward Paignton 800+ Gannets diving and on Harbour Porpoise.

In the Marsh at Broadsands 1 Firecrest 2 Chiffchaff & 1 Water Rail.

Posted December 14th, 2017 at 12:05 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


In the garden in Exmouth parakeet feeding on nut feeder 9.45 am Thurs 14th December,  not seen one in 20 years in exmouth

Posted December 14th, 2017 at 10:25 am by david in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 13th December 2017

Paignton Zoo

I met up with Simon Tonge in Paignton Zoo this morning to look for a Yellow-browed Warbler that has been present on the Howler Monkey Island and lakes around the area since Friday last week. The bird showed very well after about 30 mins - but no calls. Apparently it has been calling in the mornings and evenings. The island is opposite the hot houses and restaurant just over the board walk as you exit the shop and entrance.  

Posted December 13th, 2017 at 9:50 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 12th December 2017

Great Haldon

Just one Hawfinch visible at the top of the pylon ride this morning, close to the Belvedere to Trusham road. Later, 25 Crossbills feeding in larches and pines near the first gateway on the right down the Chudleigh road. I checked calls and as many of the feeding birds as possible through the scope, but sadly none of them sounded or looked like Parrot Crossbills! One immature male (see below) had faint pale wing bars.

Male Hawfinch  Common Crossbill immature male, with pale wing bars

Male Hawfinch                                                     Immature male Common Crossbill with pale wing bars

Posted December 12th, 2017 at 2:11 pm by Dave Smallshire in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 11th December 2017

Clennon Lakes

One of the Siberian Chiffchaffs is still around today present on the stream down below the lower lake, at least 9 'collybita' Chiffchafs also present, 1 Firecrest and 6 Goldcrest. 

Posted December 11th, 2017 at 3:39 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Winkleigh (Sports Centre)

6 Brambling feeding with 4 chaffinch on leaf litter 08.15, on verge immediately on left as you come out of sports centre onto the main road.

Posted December 11th, 2017 at 8:27 am by Lowell Mills in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 10th December 2017


Doing WEBS survey on River Dart this morning, there was a Spoonbill with the Herons on the beach on opposite bank to the entrance of Bow Creek. 

Spoonbill Dart Est 101217 KDr

Posted December 10th, 2017 at 12:07 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 9th December 2017


From Broadsands: 1 Red-necked Grebe (flushed by the Brixham rowing boat which went in close to Elberry Cove, the grebe headed back toward Preston), 3 Black-necked Grebes, 13 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Black-throated Divers (between Goodrington and Broadsands), 1 Red-throated Diver (Goodrington), 13 Common Scoter (off Roundham Head), 8 Shelduck, at least 12 Great Northern Divers in Torbay at the moment mostly between Goodrington and Broadsands.

Also at Broadsands in the 2nd car park 21 Cirl Buntings on seed, 1 Reed Bunting, 2 Firecrest, & 3 Chiffchaff. 

Posted December 9th, 2017 at 11:57 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Uphams plantation Woodbury Common

Both myself and Matt have been keeping an eye on the Crossbills on Woodbury and Bicton Commons for a few weeks. We have both noted some deeper sounding calls but have only had fly over sightings or sightings of common Crossbill. However yesterday I finally came across 6 perched on a tree top and was instantly drawn to a female that looked to have a larger head. The views were distant so I slowly edged nearer. Got to a point that I knew I could have good views. Scanned with bins first and noted the larger lower mandible too. So set my scope up and was able to get a positive ID as a Parrot Crossbill. I don’t own a camera so was just putting my phone up to the scope and they flew. The area in question is the Uphams plantation. This is located as follows. From Four firs cross to Yettington road. The second car park on the left (the first one is for the model airplane area). Once in the car park head north and the plantation is just after you go down and up a dip in the path. The birds were on the first fir tree on the plantation you come to and flew towards the aircraft car park.

Posted December 9th, 2017 at 10:54 am by Spencer Dicks in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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