General Birding

Breeding Birds

Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Many of these receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young. 

You should also apply these principles to vulnerable species without the wider legal protection. 

Although some species may be found breeding at numerous locations, please keep information about them limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting and Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and, as appropriate, the RSPB

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of disturbance and persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds. Unfortuately this can involve people wanting to photograph or obtain close views of the  birds, as well as eg egg collectors. 

Every year editors on this site have to remove or edit posts which breach the code outlined here. Please play your part in making this unnecessary. 

Thank you.

Posted March 20th at 3:43 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Please take extra care when visiting Dawlish Warren. We have been informed that due to the recent bad weather there has been significant erosion from Groyne 10 eastwards. This means that access along the site, to and from Warren Point (and the bird hide) will be via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! Signs have been put up to alert people to the hazards, but people need to be aware that access routes that they have become used to may not be available and they need to exercise extreme caution,  with the possibility of being cut off by the tide, and people are strongly urged not to try climbing the sand cliffs. Further information is available on the Teignbridge District Council website.

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 11:08 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding


If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help us 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

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Tuesday 7th February 2017


Small flock of about a dozen Eider off the beach railway line end. Also 5 Great Northern Divers.

Posted February 7th, 2017 at 7:54 pm by Chris Godfrey in General Birding

Heathfield Waxwings

12 Waxwings opposite the tile factory around lunchtime today.

Posted February 7th, 2017 at 5:26 pm by Tony Hooper in General Birding


Red head goosander and 3 goldeneye (1 male and 2 females ) on Beesands ley a raft of 25 common scoter on the sea south of the Beesands 

Posted February 7th, 2017 at 5:19 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Great number of birds on the marshes this morning. Wigeon, Canada and Barnacle(6) geese, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Lapwing, Golden Plover and other wildfowl species.

Dunlin  Lapwing and Golden Plover
Dunlin                                               Lapwing and Golden Plover

Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit

Posted February 7th, 2017 at 4:45 pm by Colin Scott in General Birding

Ivybridge, Erme -Sewerage Works

7/2/17 afternoon. Dipper 1 (no rings), Goosander 4 (1m-3f), Grey Wagtail 2.

Posted February 7th, 2017 at 4:09 pm by r teague in General Birding

Broadsands, 08:30 - 12:30

2 B-t Divers (left of the mussel beds & as far out, c.08:30 - 08:45, then not seen again for rest of visit); 1 R-t Diver; 4-5 Gt N Divers; 3 B-n Grebes; 1 Slav Grebe (past Churston Head & into Elberry Cove c. 11:00); 2 Common Scoter (both drakes, towards Goodrington); 10 Eider (9 flew through & past Brixham + 1 imm. m towards Goodrington); 140+ Gt C Grebes (towards Goodrington).

Posted February 7th, 2017 at 2:55 pm by David Holloway in General Birding

East Soar to Soar Mill Valley

White Wagtail in Soar Mill Cove with 3 Pieds and 9 Rock Pipits. 20 Snipe on very wet fields (highest count here for me) and 7 Lapwing.

Posted February 7th, 2017 at 2:50 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Plymouth Hoe

2 Great Northern Divers close in off Tinside Pool this morning

Posted February 7th, 2017 at 2:42 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding


Both female and male eiders relaxing by the outflow pipe at Goodringto

n, close enough for a photo opportunity . 12.30.

Posted February 7th, 2017 at 12:35 pm by Steph Murphy in General Birding

Monday 6th February 2017

Late news...

Travelling between  Barnstaple and Boode  yesterday afternoon (05/02) I was amazed to see a very large flock of plovers feeding on the freshly ploughed field just past the Garden Centre. On stopping, I counted between 3,300 - 3,500 Lapwings and approximately 800 Golden Plover. This was easily the largest flock of Lapwings I've seen in the UK since before the very severe winter of 1962/63. For me, this was much more exciting to see them than the odd rarity now and again. A very heartening sight (and a wonderful sound, too)!

Posted February 6th, 2017 at 7:46 pm by Tony Mercer in General Birding

Mandarin ducks

Mandarin ducks at Stover 2016

Mandarin ducks at Stover 2016

Posted February 6th, 2017 at 1:59 pm by Margaret Mackintosh in General Birding


Having spent a rather wet morning working in the reserve, I was rewarded with brief but close-up views of a male Firecrest just at the end of the Tarka Trail by the Tesco bridge.

Posted February 6th, 2017 at 12:57 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Teigngrace Stover and Heathfield

Twelve Waxwings opposite the Ceramic Factory at Heathfield: roosting not feeding on a grey cold morning. Five Cattle Egrets and five Little Egrets at Blatchford Farm. At Stover, one male Goosander, pair of Mandarin, pair of Pochard, several Tufted Ducks, plus the usual suspects!


Posted February 6th, 2017 at 12:21 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding

Sunday 5th February 2017

Teigngrace Cattle Egrets

3 Cattle Egrets in with a group of Little Egrets in the second field up the track to Blatchford Farm at around 10 this morning. 

Posted February 5th, 2017 at 9:39 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Waxwings A38 Heathfield

Thirteen Waxwings still around the Porcelain Tile Factory area at Heathfield on the A38 at lunchtime today. Also Bullfinch, Goldcrests and LT tits enjoying this area. 

Posted February 5th, 2017 at 7:34 pm by Jo King in General Birding

Crow point to river caen mouth

Walked the footpath from the white house to the breach this afternoon,  plenty of oystercatchers, lapwing, shelduck,  knot and grey plover. I think I may have been in the wrong place though, as I was leaving by the toll house I must have seen about 15? People all with cameras.

 Grey Plover  Grey plover
Grey Plover                                                                               Grey plover

Posted February 5th, 2017 at 6:26 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Torbay boat trip

Photos from todays trip. Very difficult photographic conditions today in a very sharp choppy sea.

Courting Fulmars off Broadsands.  Black necked grebes - small birds in a big sea.
Courting Fulmars off Broadsands.                                Black necked grebes - small birds in a big sea.

Posted February 5th, 2017 at 5:56 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Tarka trail - Braunton To Barnstaple

Cycled along the Tarka trail from Braunton to Barnstaple this morning & counted 9 singing male Song Thrush.

Due to the very calm conditions bird song could be heard a good distance away. While on the north side of the Taw Estuary near Bradiford Reserve I heard my 10th Song Thrush singing from the south side of the Estuary!

Posted February 5th, 2017 at 5:36 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

On wrafton pond there were 2 extremely tame chiloe wigeon in with the mallard. Probably the same 2 seen a few months earlier on Horsey island.

Posted February 5th, 2017 at 5:32 pm by Benjamin Rousseau in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Highlights today  were 20 Pochard  (from the Stokeley Hide),  2 Scaup ( male Ireland Bay, fem distant from Stokeley Hide ), 7 Goldeneyes and 19 Little Grebes. Offshore nothing seen in Start Bay.

Posted February 5th, 2017 at 4:43 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Torbay Boat Trip

A cold wind and choppy seas welcomed us on our trip out into Torbay. We only covered the south side of the bay from Brixham to Goodrington Sands, birds seen:- 27 Cormorants on cliffs 7 Quarries, 4 Purple Sandpiper, 3 Black-necked Grebe, 1 grebe we could not ID, 2 Velvet Scoter, 80+ Great Crested Grebe but could have been many more between the waves, 2 Common Gull, 2 Grey Heron and Fulmar already using the cliffs at north end of Broadsands and Roundham Head. 2 Grey Seals on the Marina wave protection pontoon. It was nice to be back on the water. Still places on the 19th and 26th Feb

Posted February 5th, 2017 at 2:01 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

White-fronted Geese - South Huish Marsh

2 White-fronted geese in with a number of Canada Geese at South Huish Marsh 8.30am - 12 noon today. Still there when I left. Birds in fields above the white house allowing only distant photographic opportunity. I believe they were first seen yesterday by Arthur Livett, good to have him back observing the Marsh!

Distant shot -White- fronted Geese - South Huish Marsh - 5.2.2017
Distant shot -White- fronted Geese - South Huish Marsh - 5.2.2017

Posted February 5th, 2017 at 1:32 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Saltram Blaxton Meadows

Cold morning reward was 1 single Glaucous Gull  on Blaxton Meadows in amongst 200 Black Headed Gulls at high tide. Other birds 6 Widgeon 1 Common Sandpiper 40 Shelduck 30 Curlew 200 Dunlin 20 Redshank 3 Greenshank 2 Black tailed Godwit 

Posted February 5th, 2017 at 12:09 pm by Roger Backway in General Birding


1 Red-necked Grebe, 3 Black-necked Grebe & 1 Gt N Diver all in Elberry Cove (c. 08:30 - 10:00).  The Velvet Scoters & at Least 80-90 Gt Crested Grebes were off towards Goodrington (too choppy & windy to get full counts of either).

10 Cirl Bunting (6m, 4f) back of the car park.

Posted February 5th, 2017 at 12:08 pm by David Holloway in General Birding

Saturday 4th February 2017

Slapton Ley

In addition to the Scaup reported earlier, one Black-necked Grebe and one Otter in Ireland Bay mid-am and one Great Northern Diver on the sea.

Posted February 4th, 2017 at 9:41 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

The Marshes looking like "a true wetland" today with thousands of birds on the flooded fields, fantastic sight!


Posted February 4th, 2017 at 8:15 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding


3 Scaup in the middle of the Ley and at least 14 male Pochard from the Torcross hide

Posted February 4th, 2017 at 5:51 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding

The odd couple

Long tailed duck and Goldeneye spending all afternoon together at Topsham rec today

Posted February 4th, 2017 at 5:38 pm by John Deakins in General Birding

Powderham Church to Turf Locks

The East Devon Branch field trip was joined by 27 members, who enjoyed the unusually calm and sunny weather this morning. As we set off, there was a Goldcrest in the trees near Powderham Church.  With the large attendence, we were rather spread out.  Before reaching the footbridge over the railway, the leading group were surprised to find a group of buntings, including at least one Cirl Bunting, which unfortunately flew off before everyone had a chance to see it. However, those towards the rear of the party found some Snipe and a Kingfisher nearby. Over the bridge, the tide in the estuary was already quite high, but we had good views of Shelduck and more distant Red-breasted Mergansers. As we walked along the path towards Turf locks, we enjoyed close views of Brent Geese, Oystercatchers, Redshanks and Wigeon in the muddy pools, and quite a large Curlew flock later on. Along the way, we also spotted several Meadow Pipits, a couple of Stonechats, and a smart Grey Wagtail. We didn't see too much more from the Turf Hotel lawn, but we added Common Gull to our list. It was soon time to retrace our steps back to Powderham - though several people decided to extend the walk and go on to Exminster marshes. Those of us who missed the Snipe on the outward journey got very good views on the way back.  

Posted February 4th, 2017 at 4:59 pm by Richard Swinbank in General Birding

Iceland Gull, Ilfracombe Pier

 A Cracking 2nd  CY Iceland Gull on Larkstone rocks then in flight.  Also poss Ring billed gull.

Posted February 4th, 2017 at 4:05 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding

Labrador Bay

The 6 Long Tailed Ducks ( probably 3 males) still this afternoon offshore from car park with 65 Common Scoter

Posted February 4th, 2017 at 3:27 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Plym Estuary/Blaxton Meadow

Seen on this mornings high tide. 3 Kingfisher, Common Sandpiper, 6 Oystercatcher, 4 Greenshank, 153 Dunlin ( my highest count), 119 Redshank, 7 Little Grebe, 4 Common Gull, 3 Red Breasted Mergansers all male.

Posted February 4th, 2017 at 1:58 pm by Philip Phillips in General Birding


Black Redstart on roof at Chambercombe this morning.

Posted February 4th, 2017 at 12:26 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding


A Cattle Egret again at Waddeton in field with cows on Galmpton Road at 9.55am with a Little Egret but neither there at c11am-  

At Broadsands to add to Mikes post- 2 Great Northern Divers together 

Posted February 4th, 2017 at 11:05 am by Mark Bailey in General Birding


Twelve waxwings flying north over Newton Abbot racecourse at 10.15

Posted February 4th, 2017 at 10:30 am by Kevin Johns in General Birding

Friday 3rd February 2017

West Charleton Marsh

On the scrape this afternoon were 77 Wigeons, 7 Teals and 6 Pintails. Water Rail showing well from the hide beneath the feeders. Birds out in Charleton Bay included 3 Bar-tailed Godwits and 2 Greenshank. In the sewage works at least 14 Chiffchaffs including a probable Siberian.

Posted February 3rd, 2017 at 7:56 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Hope's Nose, 14.45-15.45pm

Southerly gale veering westerly. Very light passage of gannets, auks and commoner gulls. 3 great northern divers in the north cove along with guillemots, shags and a feeding gannet flock. A great crested grebe and 1 or 2 fulmars off the end, also a few common gulls and a kittiwake possibly feeding from sewer flow. 

Great northern divers sheltering in the cove.

Great northern diver and shags.








Gt northern divers sheltering in the cove.                       Great northern diver and shags.

Posted February 3rd, 2017 at 5:04 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

High water levels on the marsh this lunchtime. Very few dabbling ducks about. The highlight was a drake Scaup in with 4 Tufted Ducks. presumably the bird that has been at Exmouth recently. 1 Little Grebe, 2 Grey Plover, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Snipe. 

Posted February 3rd, 2017 at 2:21 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

South Huish Marsh & South Efford Marsh

Nothing new for me at South Huish Marsh this morning, where the highlights were one Mediterranean Gull in with the many b/h gulls. 2 Black Tailed Godwits, 22 Oystercatcher, 20+ Snipe and at least 70 Lapwing. Decided to pay a quick visit to South Efford Marsh on the way home at about 12.30pm. In trees to the left of the entrance gate, good views of a very mobile calling Yellow Browed Warbler. Eventually this flew into the private garden of a neighbouring house. The Egyptian Goose still on the marsh and a flock of between 80-100 Lapwing flying around.

Posted February 3rd, 2017 at 1:58 pm by David Pakes in General Birding


2 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Eider, 1 Great Northern Diver. Lots of Gannet, Kittiwakes and Auks out toward Breakwater & Berry Head

Posted February 3rd, 2017 at 1:19 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Thursday 2nd February 2017

Passage House Inn

Single avocet still at Passage House Inn 14.15hrs. Seven wigeon, two red-breasted mergansers and a single common sandpiper of note.

Posted February 2nd, 2017 at 10:40 pm by Kevin Johns in General Birding


A late morning visit to Slapton, very stormy conditions, constant movement of Gannets and Gulls including Common and Greater Black Back off the beach.

On the Ley 15 plus Pochard, Tufted duck, male Goldeneye, increasing number of Great Crested Grebe good numbers of Gadwall and Coot, one Heron flying over.

Three Common Gull along with a small flock of Greater Black Back and a first winter Mediterranean Gull.

At home round the feeder’s good numbers of Goldfinch, at least two Siskin and a growing number of Chaffinch.


Posted February 2nd, 2017 at 5:30 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A Dipper this morning on the narrow river. Also: 21 Turnstones, 2 Greenshanks, 2 Goldcrests, 2 Little Grebes, Common Sandpiper, 3 Mandarin Ducks  and 6 Wigeon.

Posted February 2nd, 2017 at 3:51 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


One Med Gull by the DofE Veterinary Investigation Centre this morning at high tide.

Posted February 2nd, 2017 at 2:06 pm by david cawthraw in General Birding

South Efford Marsh - Egyptian Goose

Plenty of water on the Marsh! When I arrived about 10.15am, a Peregrine took off from near the top scrape. 100+ Wigeon, 50+ Teal, 9 Shelduck, 25 Curlew amongst the other birds on the marsh. A group of 50+ Canada Geese included an Egyptian Goose, the first I have seen there for 18 months or so! Smaller birds included 2 Water Pipit, 2 Bullfinch, 3 Stonechat and 3 Long Tailed Tits.

Egyptian Goose - South Efford Marsh - 2.2.2017
Egyptian Goose - South Efford Marsh - 2.2.2017

Posted February 2nd, 2017 at 2:04 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Wednesday 1st February 2017

Holcombe beach

Far left of the beach under the sandstone cliffs - single female black redstart at 4pm. Brightened an otherwise blowy, rainy and virtually birdless dog walk.

Posted February 1st, 2017 at 9:44 pm by Barney Donnellan in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Excellent morning at Slapton Ley before the rain arrived, well worth the early morning start, highlights being :-

Ireland Bay - 4 male and 3 female goldeneye, 12 little grebes, 1 male teal, 1 female marsh harrier over the reedbeds

From the bridge - 1 firecrest andsquealing water rails

From memorial Car Park - 2 great northern diver, 1 black necked grebe, gannets in a feeding frenzy and 3 + harbour porpoise very close in to beach with a guillemot further out

Mid Ley -  2 male and a female scaup (greater, not lesser)

Torcross  Beach - 1 grey seal very close to beach

Torcross Ley - 1 immature male scaup, 1 male goldeneye, 1 adult yellow legged gull bathing amongst the gull flock and bird of the day, a 1st winter little gull, bathing amongst black headed gulls at the duck feeding platform

Posted February 1st, 2017 at 8:01 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Flock of Scoters?

Seen today from low bridge by railway on coast path between Holcombe and Dawlish, about 200 birds in total

Eds: yes Common Scoter

Posted February 1st, 2017 at 5:59 pm by Philip Strange in General Birding

Ford Park Cemetery

A single female Black Redstart showing well at Ford Park Cemetery around lunchtime today but no sign of the male.

Black Redstart Black RedstartBlack Redstart

Posted February 1st, 2017 at 4:27 pm by Andy Brown in General Birding

High Speed Waxwings

Driving down the A38 at 65 mph at 8:00am, at least 6 of the Waxwings seen as a blur in their perching tree at the end of Old Newton Road next the tile factory.

Posted February 1st, 2017 at 1:55 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Labrador Bay 31 Jan

6(!) Long-tailed Ducks were off the cliffs straight out from the car park with approx 50 Common Scoter yesterday afternoon.

Posted February 1st, 2017 at 10:36 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

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