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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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 7th March 2017

Waxwings Heathfield

11 Waxwings feeding on poplar buds by the tile factory at midday

Posted March 7th, 2017 at 9:41 pm by John Walters in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


The Pacific Diver was again back in the bay best viewed from the end of Brixham Breakwater but still fairly distant looking toward Torquay. 7 Great Northern Divers counted from here too.

Also in bay around Broadsands: 1 Black-throated Diver, 2 Eider, 2 Black-necked Grebes and 1 Great Crested Grebe.

Posted March 7th, 2017 at 9:14 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 6th March 2017

Iceland Gull

2nd or 3rd year bird on Saunton beach, approx 1 mile south of beach car park.  Bird at tide line feeding on dead Conga Eel and present 12.30 to 12,45 at least.

Posted March 6th, 2017 at 1:52 pm by Stephen Mawby in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 4th March 2017


Balearic Shearwater south at 1230

3 Great Northern Divers

Humpback whale and 20+ porpoises

Balearic Shearwater
Balearic Shearwater

Posted March 4th, 2017 at 9:21 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exminster Marshes

Drake American Wigeon still present; busily grazing amongst one of the large flocks of Eurasian Wigeon, early pm.

Posted March 4th, 2017 at 6:40 pm by Andy Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


We finally caught up with the Little Gull at the duck feeding area late afternoon. You can see how small it is in the photo, with the black headed gull for comparison. Also of note today were male and female scaup, female goosander, common gull adult and juveniles, 2 "manky mallards"  plus 2 firecrests in the bushes along the path around the Ley.

Little Gull at Torcross Little & Large! Firecrest around the Ley
Little Gull at Torcross                                      Little & Large!                          Firecrest around the Ley

Posted March 4th, 2017 at 3:56 pm by Steph Murphy in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Yellow-browed warbler still the first bird I see when checking the WTW, also present today were chiffchaff, goldcrest and grey wagtail 

Posted March 4th, 2017 at 11:36 am by Henry Trollope in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 3rd March 2017


Juv/1st w Iceland Gull Brixham, flew toward Berry Head at about 3.10pm. Also 5 Great Northern Divers from Shoalstone shelter.

juv Iceland Gull Brixhm 03 March 17ML juv Iceland Gull Brixhm 03 March 17ML juv Iceland Gull Brixhm 03 March 17ML

Posted March 3rd, 2017 at 4:31 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Great Grey Shrike near Stoke Rivers, North Devon.

Perched on telephone wires between A399 and Stoke Rivers, near to the hunt kennels turning. Wary of the light traffic and the flew towards fields by Stoke Barton. returned with camera but could not find again.

Posted March 3rd, 2017 at 2:25 pm by Karen Sims & John Towers in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Isley Marsh

Following on from Jon's post below, I was at Isley Marsh at the same time ~10:30 and the other five Spoonbill were roosting there. By Yelland Power Station site a collybita race Chiffchaff feeding in a hedgerow willow.

Posted March 3rd, 2017 at 11:29 am by Lowell Mills in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Slapton Ley

Late post for yesterday: 2 Red-throated Diver offshore at memorial & Little Gull at Torcross.

Posted March 3rd, 2017 at 8:06 am by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 2nd March 2017

Upper tidal Torridge

4 Cattle egrets and 10 Little Egrets in field beside river at Weare Giffard church.

8 Common Sandpiper

2 Green Sandpiper

3 Mandarin

Posted March 2nd, 2017 at 11:20 am by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sherpa scrape

9 Spoonbills on the scrape early this morning.

Posted March 2nd, 2017 at 10:02 am by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 1st March 2017

Haldon Forest birding survey

A38 Heathfield while on the way to the Haldon birding survey gave the flock of Waxwings sat in the trees alongside the road opposite BCT.

At Haldon the team that I was with recorded Green Woodpecker that showed well at the beginning and end of the route covered, GSWP, Yellow Hammer (2), Siskin, Mistle and Song Thrush, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, numerous Goldcrest, Snipe (12) Woodcock (6) Stonechat (pair) Crossbill (4) two sightings and a Raven to mention a few of the species seen and recorded.

Both Roe and Fallow deer.

Back by the feed station one of the team picked out the reported female Brambling.

A divert to Teigngrace on the way home gave double figures of Little Egret and five Cattle Egret and a very pale Buzzard.

Two Sparrow hawks seen while driving on the A38, one at Chudleigh and the other near Dean Prior.

Posted March 1st, 2017 at 2:59 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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