Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Missing Devon rarity records 2018

Unfortunately no descriptions have been submitted for the following records of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. This means, as things stand, they will not make the official record as part of the 2018 Devon Bird Report. It would be a great shame to lose these records.

If anyone saw these birds (you don’t have to be the finder) please can you submit a description and/or photos asap to Kev Rylands: Thank you.

Chough Northam 17-18 July  

Corn Bunting Beer Head 25 August

Cory’s Shearwater (2) Ilfracombe 28 July

Cory’s Shearwater Thurlestone 26 August

Glossy Ibis Exe Estuary 21-27 October

Golden Oriole Blaxton Meadow 18 April

Great Shearwater (2) Berry Head 20 September

Great White Egret (2) Bridge Marsh, Axe Estuary 13 January

Great White Egret Black Hole Marsh, Axe Estuary 22 August

Great White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March

Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May

Great White Egret Stover 01 October

Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May

Little Bunting Slapton 21 October

Montagu’s Harrier Dartmoor 19 Aug

Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August

Ring-necked Duck Lee Moor 14 October

Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August

Serin South Hallsands 24 April

Tree Sparrow Haldon 20 May

Posted September 24th at 8:44 am 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 28th February 2017

Staverton WTW

The 3 Yellow Browed Warblers, the tristis Chiffchaff and 11 collybita Chiffchaffs still present this afternoon.

Posted February 28th, 2017 at 7:01 pm by Douglas Stannard in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Leas Foot beach, Thurlestone and Slapton Sands

A morning visit to Leas Foot beach produced great views of the desert wheatear, singing but almost inaudible in the howling wind! On to Slapton, where the 1st winter little gull was resting on the lower ley at Torcross with the black headed gull flock around lunchtime. The hide produced a brownhead goosander as well as the usual flocks of tufted duck, pochard and gadwall. A short watch from the monument car park yielded feeding gannets and porpoises but no humpback whale. On enquiring we were told it had been present early morning but not since.

Posted February 28th, 2017 at 6:38 pm by Chris Proctor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exminster Marshes

Brief visit before the rain at lunch time. The number of wigeon continues to drop but there are still about 1200 on the marshes in about 10 flocks, the American wigeon was still present. High tide on the estuary so a few waders on the marsh - including curlew (c100), c300 dunlin and about 100 lapwing. At least 2 chiffchaff in the lane and one each of kestrel, peregrine and buzzard. 

Posted February 28th, 2017 at 1:27 pm by John Waldon in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Prawle 26th Feb

A bit late but for those interested in Gulls check this out - Kumlien's or Thayers or hybrid ? Probably never know! 

Quite possibly the same bird on Portland 23 Feb , and Guernsey on 2 Feb 2017 

Posted February 28th, 2017 at 9:35 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 26th February 2017


2 Velvet Scoter were with a distant flock of 350+ Common Scoter off Daddyhole Plain, Torquay this morning.

Broadsands: very quiet - 2 Black-necked Grebes the only birds to mention.

Posted February 26th, 2017 at 11:30 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 25th February 2017

Staverton WTW

2 Yellow browed warblers and 9 Chiffchaffs (including one tristis) this afternoon. 

Posted February 25th, 2017 at 6:20 pm by Douglas Stannard in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Yellow-browed warbler still at the water works

Posted February 25th, 2017 at 1:26 pm by Henry Trollope in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


On the way to Slapton a Hare seen in a road gateway near Diptford.

Arriving at Slapton at first light no sign or reports of the Humpback whale so reverted to a birding sea and beach watch, 32 plus Pied Wagtail, eight plus Gannet, Common Gull, seven GBBG, two Razorbill, and two Shags.

Then sighted the whale from the memorial car park way off just off of Start Point, so moved over to the Torcross end where the whale showed well from just after 8am until 9.30 when it moved off out into the bay coming within some 250 yards of the beach, towards 9.30 Dolphin and Porpoise arrived.


While watching the reported Little Gull showed well on two occasions, as did a very distinctive second winter Gull that was identified by other birders as a Yellow Legged Gul, several Common gulls also present and a fly by from a Peregrine that came down the length of the beach just out over the sea.

The Ley was very busy with bird life on arrival but thinned out a little as the morning went on but Goldeneye, displaying Great Crested Grebes, Pochard, Gadwall, a female Goosander and the expected species, several Skylarks singing.


Posted February 25th, 2017 at 12:51 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 24th February 2017

Around the Exe

A first light visit to the Bowling Green Marsh area this morning gave the Spotted Redshank and a Greenshank from the Goosemoor viewing area.

From the hide, high water levels across the marsh, lots of birds present, 100's of Black Tailed Godwit, good numbers of duck including a female Tufted and several Pintail. Three Snipe on the waters edge directly in front of the hide and four Avocet.

Fox on the far side of the marsh opposite the hide with what may have been a Moorhen, large flock of Canadian Geese were facing up to it.

Walking down to the viewing platform several Wren singing, Goldcrest, Jay and a Greenfinch

From the platform 123 Avocet, 250 plus Dunlin, 33 Curlew and several Grey Plover.

Topsham Rec, Water Rail, five Common Gull and the over wintering Yellow Browed Warbler calling and showing very well in the trees around the zip wire, seemed to be more vocal when dogs were close by.


Exminster marshes twelve Barnacle Geese seen from the viewing platform.

Peregrine seen from the A38 while on the way home.

Kestrel over Marldon in the afternoon.

Evidence of Tawny owls breeding in Paignton following a call from a Paignton based vets who had a very young Tawny owlet brought in by the public, eyes only just opening.

  With an Apple to give a sense of scale

Posted February 24th, 2017 at 4:36 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Late news for yesterday, 6 Cattle Egrets ( with about 9 Little Egrets ) near Bowden House yesterday morning 10:30. They were in a field with Fresian Cattle SX798591.

Posted February 24th, 2017 at 6:31 am by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 23rd February 2017

Staverton WTW

The 3 Yellow browed warblers and 14 Chiffchaff (including one tristis) showing well this afternoon on the circular filter bed.

Supporting cast of 10 Goldcrest, 10 Long tailed tits and 40 Redwings.

Posted February 23rd, 2017 at 6:53 pm by Douglas Stannard in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 22nd February 2017


Desert Wheatear still showing well - hope it copes with DORIS!! No sign of the Whitefronts late morning  at South Huish.

Posted February 22nd, 2017 at 5:27 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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