General Birding

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


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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 14th February 2017

Labrador Bay and River Teign

At Labrador Bay possible Cirl Buntings. Looking out over the River Teign, there where... 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 3 Shelducks, Black-headed Gulls and a Greenshank.

Posted February 14th, 2017 at 8:53 pm by Samuel Gray in General Birding

West Charleton Marsh

In Sewage works, many Chiff-Chaffs, Grey Wagtail.

From hide

20+ Curlew,80+ Brent Geese,a Whimbrel,6 Redshanks,several Greenshanks,4 Shellduck,4 L.Egrets,80 Wigeon.

4 sightings Water Rail, (probably same bird).

A bittern, showing very nicely.

An acrobatic Pheasant.

and what I believe to be a Peregrine, (please correct me if I am wrong)


Posted February 14th, 2017 at 8:41 pm by Lloyd Gray in General Birding

Tamerton Foliot

A carefully counted 11 Cattle Egrets all sat on a hedge on the perimeter of kale field being grazed by cattle (and could be more)... There are Little Egrets there too.

Nearby at Lopwell:  Goosander (Redhead), 3 Common Sandpiper, Marsh Tit, Firecrest  and Goldcrest.

Posted February 14th, 2017 at 7:37 pm by Charlie Imms and Russ Eynon in General Birding

Torquay Harbour

Black-necked Grebe in Harbour this lunchtime. 

Posted February 14th, 2017 at 7:01 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Here and there...

Arrived at BGM at high tide, (about 10.45) so lots of activity. A Peregrine had been seen just before we got there and spooked everything. Most of the birds returned, but were edgy. Not helped by some people moving along behind the reed-bed opposite the hide. Not sure what they were doing. 400+ Avocets, many Black-tailed Godwits, plus all the usual suspects (except Little Egret). So to Goosemoor where we also saw the Kittiwake on the water, looking a little lost. Went back to let people in the hide know, but not exactly a rush to see it!

Managed brief views of the Yellow-browed Warbler at the Rec at Topsham.

A Greenshank in the harbour at Cockwood. but no sign, in now very poor conditions of the Slavonian Grebes or Bonaparte's Gull nearby. Called in at Haldon and were rewarded with a Brambling under the feeders.

Posted February 14th, 2017 at 6:40 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Brixham Harbour

4 Great Northern Divers, 2 the sea side of the breakwater and 2 in the outer harbour. Didn't see any Purple Sandpipers.

Posted February 14th, 2017 at 5:16 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

Plym Estuary

During the rainy high tide this morning at the pool: 7 Greenshanks, c155 Dunlins, the 6 Wigeon, Common Sandpiper and 2 Nuthatches.  

Posted February 14th, 2017 at 4:36 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Goosemoor - Kittiwake

Fairly quiet at Bowling Green Marsh this lunchtime. Good numbers of Lapwing, 4+ Snipe, 1 Little Grebe.

I dropped in to Goosemoor and was very surprised to see a Kittiwake! It was drifting about on one of the small creeks, then flew about for a bit before settling back down on the mud. Still there when I left at about 2.10.

Posted February 14th, 2017 at 2:28 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Hen Harrier Hartland Point

Ringtail hen harrier seen over fields next to car park at Hartland point at 12:50

Posted February 14th, 2017 at 1:56 pm by Felix Adams in General Birding

Tamerton Foliot, Plymouth

Cattle egret.  Hard to tell how many there were 6+


Posted February 14th, 2017 at 12:21 am by Shane Willson in General Birding

Monday 13th February 2017

Plym Estuary and Saltram

A Bar-tailed Godwit in with the Curlews this evening on the pool. Also the 6 Wigeon still about, 4 Little Grebes, Common Sandpiper, a drake Red-breasted Merganser and c280 Jackdaws over Marsh Mills, going to roost.

In addition, I glimpsed 3 small geese flying over the top of the estuary but - in poor light - couldn't clinch an identification.

Posted February 13th, 2017 at 8:09 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Torquay Harbour - Great Northern Diver

1 Grt Northern close to the harbour wall in the outer harbour, 1230 today.

Posted February 13th, 2017 at 4:36 pm by Cliff Parrott in General Birding


1 ad Mediterranean Gull among Blk-Hd Gull and Common Gull Goodrington Beach.

Posted February 13th, 2017 at 1:56 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding


Three Great Northern Divers in the Sound first thing this morning.

Posted February 13th, 2017 at 12:26 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Sunday - Roadford Reservoir

Great Northern Diver on Roadford on today's WeBS count.  Tony John

Posted February 13th, 2017 at 12:16 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sunday 12th February 2017

Fingle Bridge

 10/2/17 5 goosander,1 male 5 female .1 dipper and a kingfisher whilst walking up river to the bridge

Posted February 12th, 2017 at 10:30 pm by Tim Cox in General Birding

Staverton Water Treatment Works

2 Yellow-browed Warblers this afternoon feeding simultaneously on the circular filtration tank itself alongside up to 10 Chiffchaffs, several Goldcrests and Long-tailed Tits, a Pied and a Grey Wagtail and 3 Blackbirds - quite a lively little scene!

Posted February 12th, 2017 at 10:18 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Arlington Court

Great white egret seen at NT Arlington Court, initially on roof of hothouse and then flew down to pond.About 1.00pm Sun 12 Feb. Also tree creeper near entrance.

Posted February 12th, 2017 at 7:55 pm by Vince Bedford in General Birding


Had a good session at Yarner today, plenty of birds about with a Lesser-spotted Woodpecker putting in a brief visit to the trees to the left of the car park.

Nuthatch Marsh Tit
Nuthatch                                                             Marsh Tit

Posted February 12th, 2017 at 5:31 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

Efford Marsh, Plymouth

A Yellow-browed Warbler this afternoon, showing well at times. Also Kingfisher, 3 Goldcrests and 7 Teal. 

Would photographers please refrain from walking out on the mud on the Plym Estuary (which I witnessed this afternoon). It is scaring the birds off their feeding area and there are ample other (better) opportunities to photograph them close up eg at Blaxton Pool during high tide. Thanks in anticipation of cooperation. 

Posted February 12th, 2017 at 5:27 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Heathfield Waxwings

10 seen at 1045 this morning opposite the tile factory beside the southbound carriageway. Appeared briefly before dispersing.

Posted February 12th, 2017 at 11:50 am by Chris Godfrey in General Birding

Firecrest Radford Park

One by entrance to park at Mayers Lane at 11:00

Posted February 12th, 2017 at 11:12 am by Chris E in General Birding

Saturday 11th February 2017

Exe Estuary cruise

There was a raw easterly wind blowing this afternoon, but at least the morning's snow flurries had ceased. A male Black Redstart appeared on scaffolding at Exmouth as passengers were waiting to board the boat.

There were hundreds of gulls, mainly Herring Gulls, feeding and roosting off Dawlish Warren, taking advantage of the lowest tide for several years. A Harbour (Common) Seal popped up briefly near Exmouth. The two Slavonian Grebes and a pair of Goldeneye were off Cockwood, and a few Great Crested Grebes further up the estuary. A Greenshank was in the Kenn outflow as usual.

A flock of Pintail (dozens) was on the Clyst banks. Hundreds of Avocets, Dunlins and both godwits were scattered over the mudbanks at the northern end of the estuary, and a flock of Golden Plover flew over. Lots of Common Gulls were amongst Black-headed Gulls as we approached Topsham, where again the female Long-tailed Duck was with Red-breasted Mergansers. A further pair of Goldeneye were also at Topsham.

Posted February 11th, 2017 at 10:05 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

GSWP & Nuthatch A361

Picnic/Service area on south side of A361 between Tiverton and S Molton at SS829216 has bird feeders which attract several species inc Marsh Tit. I have also seen a Treecreeper on nearby trees. These photos were taken yesterday:

GSWP & Nuthatch - A361 Services
GSWP & Nuthatch - A361 Services

Posted February 11th, 2017 at 5:31 pm by Alan Ford in General Birding


Visit Brixham harbourside if you want close ups of turnstone, taken on my phone from inches away.


Posted February 11th, 2017 at 4:46 pm by Lloyd Gray in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Brief visit between the hail showers at lunch time revealed the drake American Wigeon near Station Road just south of the Lion's Rest estate. Otherwise quiet with few waders in sight. Two bullfinch and 3 reed bunting near the canal.

Posted February 11th, 2017 at 3:23 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Velator reserve

Spring moving right along despite the cold. No fewer than 7 Canada Geese in the reserve this morning. There's only room for one pair, so quite a bit of chasing around. 30 or more others waiting their chance just outside!

Canada's trying to gain an advantage! Also of interest - this Peziza coccinea growing on fallen ash branches.
Canada's trying to gain an advantage!     Also of interest - this Peziza coccinea growing on fallen ash branches.

Posted February 11th, 2017 at 3:15 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Two drake Red-breasted Mergansers, a pair of Goosanders, 3 Jack Snipe, 5 Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Treecreeper, Kingfisher and 4 Little Grebes.

But best of all, a Seal just up river from Laira Bridge (presumed Grey - I didn't get a very good view). The first time I can remember seeing one on the estuary itself.

Posted February 11th, 2017 at 2:42 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Torbay Scoters?

Large flock of what I believe are Scoters (80+)between the two Thatcher Rock mussel farms this morning but can anyone confirm my identification please 

Posted February 11th, 2017 at 9:54 am by Cliff Parrott in General Birding

Friday 10th February 2017


Roosting Tawny Owl in a neighbouring garden today.

Posted February 10th, 2017 at 7:12 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Exe Estuary cruise

Highlight of this afternoon's Stuart Lines cruise was the female Long-tailed Duck - great views as we approached Topsham. There were also c100 Golden Plovers with Lapwings in the same area, plus hundreds of Avocets and godwits (both species) and a sprinkling of Knot. The 2 Slavonian Grebes were off Cockwood, as usual, and 2 Greenshanks off Powderham.

Long-tailed Duck Long-tailed Duck Golden Plovers and Lapwings
Long-tailed Duck                                               Long-tailed Duck                Golden Plovers and Lapwings

Posted February 10th, 2017 at 7:07 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Slapton and Beesands

Male Scaup just out from the car park hide at Torcross. Elsewhere Greylag Goose and 5 Goldeneyes. Great Northern Diver off the Memorial Car Park. 3 Goldeneyes on Beesands Ley ( 1 M ) Can only recall seeing the odd single bird here before. Also 2 Teals and 2 Shovelers. In Start Bay off Beesands village about 50 Common Scoters.

Posted February 10th, 2017 at 3:00 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Thursday 9th February 2017

East Devon

An very early morning visit to Woodbury Castle produced a Male Brambling in amongst a large and mobile Chaffinch flock. Also of note Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker. A late afternoon visit to Otterton Sewerage works gave a Red Throated Diver, several Fulmar and Kittiwake. Also good numbers of Gannet and Guillemot. A single Razorbill was close in.

Posted February 9th, 2017 at 9:00 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Plym Estuary

A pair of Goosanders this afternoon on the narrow river, and on the pool, a 1st-w Mediterranean Gull, c140 Dunlins and the 6 Wigeon still present.

Posted February 9th, 2017 at 8:02 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Exe Estuary cruise

Just inside the estuary off Exmouth, the adult Bonaparte's Gull gave good views (as it did during a low-tide count cruise yesterday). The now regular 'couple' of Slavonian Grebes were off Cockwood. Waders included 2 Greenshanks, about 500 Avocets, hundreds of Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwits and a few Knot (50+ yesterday). Large flocks of Lapwings and Golden Plovers were over Exminster Marshes.

Bonaparte's Gull off Topsham yesterday  Godwits at Topsham  Female Goldeneye at Topsham
Bonaparte's Gull off Topsham yesterday            Godwits at Topsham                     Female Goldeneye at Topsham

Posted February 9th, 2017 at 6:45 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Sutton Harbour, Plymouth

This afternoon I was watching 14 Turnstones at Marrowbone Slip in Sutton Harbour  - regular low tide visitors - when a Kingfisher flew across the small bay and landed on the rungs of a quayside ladder beside the China House and ahead of an abandoned trawler.

Turnstones in Sutton Harbour Kingfisher in Sutton Harbour
Turnstones in Sutton Harbour                       Kingfisher in Sutton Harbour

Posted February 9th, 2017 at 5:14 pm by Tony Hooper in General Birding

Topsham - Med. Gull

Yesterday afternoon on the river at Topsham playing fields - an adult Med. Gull with almost full black head.

Posted February 9th, 2017 at 11:37 am by John Connolly in General Birding

Wednesday 8th February 2017

Taw estuary

Five of the local Spoonbill were feeding out on the Taw estuary this morning near Isley Marsh RSPB at low tide, sieving the water where it flowed fast and chest-deep, walking in and out of these flows and seldom standing still. Some juveniles and both site-faithful colour-ringed adults were present (from Netherlands project) but no sign of colour-ringed juvenile from this project seen here other times this winter.

Posted February 8th, 2017 at 9:41 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Six Wigeon still around and Curlews up to 62; also 3 or 4 Greenshanks, 2 Ringed Plovers and a pair of Mandarin Ducks.

Posted February 8th, 2017 at 9:29 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


For it's size, I always find Roadford a disappointing venue, both for its fishing and birding.(Only 10 reports on DBWS for 2016!) It never seems to live up to its potential! Today started at the dam end, with very little showing. Annoying to have to pay a £2 parking fee just to get a coffee and cake in the café! A trip to the hide and a viewing session from the bridge on the Germansweek road was more productive! A calling Tawny Owl,1 Buzzard,2 Cormorants, 3 Goldeneye (f), 2 Little Grebe,7 GC Grebe, 24 Teal,8 Mallard, 12 Tufted Duck, 7 Canada Geese and a tight group of 5 Snipe being the highlights.

Goldeneye - Roadford - 8.2.2017
Goldeneye - Roadford - 8.2.2017

Posted February 8th, 2017 at 8:02 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Dippers in Tiverton

The R. Lowman in Tiverton passes under the A396 Heathcoat Way at cSS965129 and runs in a channel behind The Tiverton Hotel and behind Tescos (at SS960127).
Since last November I have had frequent sightings of a Dipper along this stretch.
On 2nd Feb it was standing on the bank by Tescos staring at the swollen river before launching into song. Today there were two by the little bridge behind Medland, Sanders & Twose (SS961127).

Posted February 8th, 2017 at 7:32 pm by Alan Ford in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Male scaup on the lake this afternoon with a pair of tufted ducks. The female has a white face, but from size, back colour and head shape pretty sure she's a tufty not a second scaup (there was somecdebate!). :)

Posted February 8th, 2017 at 5:13 pm by Helen Whitall in General Birding

Velator reserve

Sitting quietly by the pond this lunchtime, I was watching for ripples, as I thought I had seen the splash of a Little Grebe earlier. Didn't appear, but more ripples revealed a Kingfisher repeatedly diving in from a low branch.

Last week, a pair of Canada Geese paid two visits to the pond, - two weeks earlier than they appeared last year. Still several Reed Buntings taking seeds.

Posted February 8th, 2017 at 4:52 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


Total of 11 Wsxwings at Heathfield this morning between 9.00 and 9.45 feeding well on berries in centre reservation of A38 

Posted February 8th, 2017 at 11:07 am by Roger Backway in General Birding

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