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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Tuesday 21st February 2017

Roadford Reservoir

Two immature white-winged gulls seen from 3pm to 4.15pm with c 200 Lesser Black-Backed Gulls (plus 30-40 Black-Headed , 20 Great-Black Backed and 10 Herring Gulls ) viewed from visitor centre/cafe car park. Both second-winter Glaucous And second-winter Iceland .Loafing and standing on the shoreline opposite the car park , at other times they sat on the water and showed close together providing good comparison.Both looked at times very white. Together with the report yesterday, does this herald a return to improved gull roost watching for this site ? 

Posted February 21st, 2017 at 5:27 pm by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 20th February 2017


Female/first winter Black Redstart again at Instow harbour where the wall/boulders/concrete path curve round onto the ferry pier. Was feeding mainly around the old wooden pontoons. Flighty. 17:00.

Posted February 20th, 2017 at 5:17 pm by Lowell Mills in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


As of Sunday, February 19th, the waxwings were still opposite the tile factory, preening high in trees along the southbound verge of the dual carriageway and flying to the central reservation to feed on rosehips. I counted eight of them.


Waxwing feeding on rosehips

Posted February 20th, 2017 at 2:14 pm by Helen Evans in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 19th February 2017

Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear is still showing well at Leas Foot Beach, Thurlestone, this afternoon 19-02-17


Posted February 19th, 2017 at 4:56 pm by Greg Bradbury in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Great White Egret

Whilst carrying out the second days Willow Tit Survey at Arlington it was a reward to see the GWE downstream of the lower lake. Made up for not one WT or Marsh Tit.

Posted February 19th, 2017 at 3:39 pm by Karen Sims & John Towers in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 18th February 2017

Broadands & Haldon

A run out to Broadsands with Keith Male this morning initially to Broadsands joining the growing numbers of birders looking for the reported Pacific Diver that did not show ( or at least not while we were there), two distant Divers were deemed to be Red Throated Divers, two Black Necked Grebe showed well, a solitary Common Scoter, Fulmer, and very distant Razorbills and Guillemots were all added to the days list.
Male Cirl Bunting in the rear car park.
Onto the Haldon Forest park and after some more waiting the reported female Brambling showed very briefly, thirty plus Siskin, GSWP, two Nuthatch, two Song Thrush.
At home two soaring Raven, female Siskin on the feeders along with female Reed Bunting and Nuthatch.

Posted February 18th, 2017 at 5:50 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 17th February 2017


 8 Purple Sandpipers this morning in flocks of 3, 2 & 3 between Capstone Point & Ilfracombe Harbour.

Posted February 17th, 2017 at 9:32 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Long-tailed duck on Taw estuary one mile west of Taw Bridge.

Posted February 17th, 2017 at 2:18 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Torbay and Heathfield

After enjoying the Pacific Diver along side a Black-throated this morning on a "mill pond" sea, 11 Waxwings seen at their usual spot opposite the tile factory.

Posted February 17th, 2017 at 1:58 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


The Pacific Diver was still present this morning, initially associating with a Black-throated Diver. 2-3 Black-necked Grebes and a distant Great Northern Diver.

Posted February 17th, 2017 at 12:13 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 16th February 2017


The diver detailed below was a juv/1stw Pacific Diver (if accepted first for Devon) also 1 Black-throated Diver further out in bay.



Posted February 16th, 2017 at 6:45 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


 6 Cattle Egrets, found by Josh Marshall just outside Totnes on the road to Ashprington at SX797593, still present at 13.25 this afternoon (along with 3 Little Egrets). Look from the gate on the right immediately after the two roadside pillars.

At Staverton WTW this afternoon, one, possible two, Yellow browed warblers, Firecrest, around 10 Goldcrests but a reduction in Chiffchaffs to just 5.

Posted February 16th, 2017 at 4:46 pm by Douglas Stannard in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Around the Axe

Red Kite flew south east over Seaton at 12:15. It was a distinctive bird with a primary missing on the right wing and its left tail fork worn off - so look out for it, be great to track its movements.

This afternoon at 13:45 a lovely second-winter Iceland Gull on the Axe Estuary, showing well from Coronation Corner.

Iceland Gull
Iceland Gull

Red Kite
Red Kite

Posted February 16th, 2017 at 2:45 pm by Steve Waite in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 15th February 2017

Staverton WTW

Still one Yellow Browed warbler this afternoon although quite elusive. 10+ Chiffchaffs and similar numbers of Goldcrests.  

Posted February 15th, 2017 at 8:03 pm by Douglas Stannard in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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