General Birding

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  Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Caspian Gull, Thurlestone, 08 Feb 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


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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Harleston through Start to Slapton Ley

Good day for commoner migrants: 2 Sandwich Tern offshore, 7 Sand Martin over the ley, singing Blackcap & 19 singing Chiffchaff. Also: 7 Little Grebe, 14 Great Crested Grebe, 131 Tufted Duck, 115 Coot, 400 Herring Gull, 40 Robin, 8 singing Cetti's Warbler, Nuthatch 120 Jackdaw & 11 Reed Bunting. In flower already Bluebell & Wood Sorrel. 

Posted March 21st, 2017 at 6:19 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Cattle Egrets - Totnes

Haven't checked field for 2 weeks but now 8 Cattle Egrets (and 7 Little Egrets) at 4.30pm in fields opposite Bowden House on the Totnes to Ashprington road- initially in original kale field, but then as the Cattle all went to the next grass field, all the Egrets followed . They then returned to the edge of the kale field 

Posted March 21st, 2017 at 5:12 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Weare Giffard Cattle Egrets.

The Cattle Egrets have increased to seven, viewed this morning from Half-penny bridge , Annery kiln , feeding on the grass banks of the river Torridge just south of the bridge.No Little Egrets present.   

Posted March 21st, 2017 at 1:28 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in General Birding

Dawlish, Cockwood & Powderham Marsh.

Still 4 Velvet Scoters and c50 Common Scoters off Dawlish plus 7 GC Grebes.

At Cockwood:  2 Slav. Grebes seen from under the railway bridge in the harbour.

Powderham Marsh: c40 Sand Martins, 1 Wheatear.

Posted March 21st, 2017 at 1:19 pm by david cawthraw in General Birding

Wistlandpound Reservoir

Despite heavy hail showers, Chiffchaff calling continuously around the reservoir and the first Willow Warbler of the year for me.

Over the water 30 + Sand Martins

Posted March 21st, 2017 at 10:09 am by john bronze in General Birding

Sunday 19th March 2017

Dawlish Warren

Two Common Snipe and a Jack Snipe sleeping at the edge of the main pond this morning, plus 2 each of Little Grebe, Teal and Shoveler. Also two sightings of Sparrowhawk and at least 6 Chiffchaffs. Offshore, a few Great Crested Grebes, 7 Common Scoter and a Sandwich Tern.

Jack Snipe dozing (heavily cropped phonescope)
Jack Snipe dozing (heavily cropped phonescope)

Posted March 19th, 2017 at 8:25 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding


Also 6 Sandwich tern flying towards Teignmouth from Dawlish Railway Station

Posted March 19th, 2017 at 7:51 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Dawlish and Exminster Marsh

From Dawlish Railway Station :- imm male and female eider close in with 4 velvet scoter,  40+ common scoter offshore, 11+ great crested grebes across bay, 3 ad kittiwakes, gannets

Powderham Marsh :-  3 green sandpiper, sand martins, singing chiffchaff

Exminster Marsh :- no sign of any garganey but still good numbers of wigeon and teal, 2 pairs of tufted duck, 4 male and 1 female pintail, good numbers of sand martins, singing chiffchaff with 2 non singing birds seen, 2 curlew

Posted March 19th, 2017 at 7:49 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding


My first Whitethroat of the year on gorse at Little Dartmouth cliff path

Posted March 19th, 2017 at 7:08 pm by Tim Clyburn in General Birding

Powderham/Exminster Marsh

Dull and overcast day making photographs difficult. 46 species counted including Golden Plover overhead, 3 Green Sandpipers, 3 Bullfinch, 2 Cirl Buntings, 2 mating Kestrels, 2 hunting Peregrines, 1 Barnacle Goose, many Sandmartins, Skylarks and Reed Buntings, 1 Common Sandpiper and entertainment provided from the viewing platform by the displaying Lapwings.

Female Reed Bunting at Powderham
Female Reed Bunting at Powderham

Posted March 19th, 2017 at 6:31 pm by Steph Murphy in General Birding

Labrador Bay


4 Long-tailed Ducks flew in from the Shaldon direction and were only visible from the cliff tops of the lower coastal path.  Still 100+ Common Scoter.  Also Gannet, Fulmar, LT Tit, Shag, GBB Gull, Chiffchaff, Skylark, Green Woodpecker, GSW, 15+ Linnets  Calling Bullfinch.  Several calling Cirl Buntings and a male showing well. 

Posted March 19th, 2017 at 4:52 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Lopwell dam

1015-1430 :

9 Shelduck, 2 Common sandpiper, 3 Red legged Partridge on the riverside path, 2 Marsh tit, Chiffchaff singing in the Willows.

Posted March 19th, 2017 at 3:56 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

RSPB, Labrador Bay

Still c100 Common Scoter and 3 Long-tailed Ducks in the bay along with 9 Great Crested Grebes.

Long-tailed Duck
Long-tailed Duck

Posted March 19th, 2017 at 11:05 am by david cawthraw in General Birding

Saturday 18th March 2017

Cattle Egrets at Powderham

2 Cattle Egrets in with the sheep just up from Powderham Church, one flew off into the neighbouring field to be with 7 Little Egrets and was there when I left at midday.

Posted March 18th, 2017 at 2:56 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

Friday 17th March 2017

Berry Head

Today at Berry Head: Great black-backed and Herring gulls, flumars, cormorants, shags, blackbirds, robins, gillimots, crows and feral pigeons.

Also there were three or more harbour porpoise

Eds. Please read our guidelines and post using your real name please, not a pseudonym. Thanks.

Posted March 17th, 2017 at 9:03 pm by Berry Head in General Birding

Gibbet Hill

The Golden Plover below could the same flock of at least 200 wheeling above Gibbet Hill, Mary Tavy, yesterday afternoon. Always a harbinger of Spring.

Posted March 17th, 2017 at 9:03 pm by Simon Martin in General Birding

Golden Plovers & Wheatears

200+ Golden Plovers at Cox Tor this morning. Also saw 4 male Wheatears.

Posted March 17th, 2017 at 8:09 pm by Robin Stanbridge in General Birding

Stoke Point

6 cattle egret in field by road leading down to Stoke Point caravan park at 11:30 today, difficult to view at times amongst large herd of cows and through hedgerow. 1 in breeding plumage.

On return at 16:30 no sign of any cattle egrets - or cows!

Posted March 17th, 2017 at 6:33 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Siskins, Bulfinches and a scruffy Blue Tit nicknamed Compo

Siskins showing very well @ Yarner wood around the bottom & top hides, along with Bullfinches, male & female @ the upper hide, and the usual array of Tit's 1 we named Compo due it's scruffy appearance.

Posted March 17th, 2017 at 6:13 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Yesterday's Green Sandpiper still in evidence at the back of the marsh.  Overhead and over the water a mixed flock of 100++ Sand Martins and House Martins, yet no swallow.

Posted March 17th, 2017 at 5:21 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Stover Lake

A single Swallow over the Lake at 4.45pm with a dozen Sand Martins. 8 Goosander, two pairs of Mandarins,  1 Great crested Grebe, 1 Grey Heron and a single Kingfisher. Black headed Gulls numbers have dropped to 12. Plenty of woodland songsters including Siskin, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush Nuthatch and 3 Chiffchaff. Increased numbers of Greenfinch and Chaffinch also noted

Posted March 17th, 2017 at 5:11 pm by JDA in General Birding

Powderham Church, Cattle Egrets

Two Cattle Egrets with Little Egrets in field just North West of Powderham Church near where sheep are currently being temporarily grazed.

Cattle Egret in flightCattle Egret 2 FeedingCattle Egret Feeding

Posted March 17th, 2017 at 4:55 pm by Jo King in General Birding

Tarka trail & Fremington Pill

Cycled along the trail from Braunton > Fremington Pill this morning.

10 Chiffchaff in full song along the way. Carefully looked through 130 Black tailed Godwits with the scope & none seen with colour rings.

6 Cattle Egrets had been seen with the Little Egrets in the trees, but just one in the photo with the Little Egrets & the Glossy Ibis in the Pill. 


Posted March 17th, 2017 at 2:25 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Berry Head quarry

Wheatear, chiff chaffs & goldcrests showing well

Posted March 17th, 2017 at 12:48 pm by J.Beevers in General Birding

Baggy Point

At least 5 cold looking Wheatears in the wind this morning.

Posted March 17th, 2017 at 11:59 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Thursday 16th March 2017

Bowling Green Marsh

A single Green Sandpiper was the first I've seen this season at BGM.  Also showing was Snipe and the hybrid Chiloe ? x Wigeon caused a few heads to be the hide. 

Posted March 16th, 2017 at 9:50 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

An influx of Redwings with 50+ in the park. Also Jack Snipe, Snipe, 6 Greenshanks, a pair of Mandarin Ducks, 3 Little Grebes, Common Sandpiper, 3 Chiffchaffs, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers and Tawny Owl heard.

Jack Snipe Jack Snipe Jack Snipe
Jack Snipe

Posted March 16th, 2017 at 7:08 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Garganey at Exminster Marshes

A distant image of a Drake Garganey seen at Exminster Marshes today by Bob Barrow and John Lloyd.

Posted March 16th, 2017 at 6:41 pm by Bob Barrow in General Birding

Fremington,thePill and Home Farm.

Water Rail,4 Spoonbills on Wrafton side,3 chiffchaff plus one plain greyish maybe Siberian, 8 cattle egret on the sheep field, Ibis middle of Pill. Similar waders to Wednesday report plus reed warbler,red wing little flocks of finches, larks and pipits and one goldcrest.All these in the home farm area.

Posted March 16th, 2017 at 6:07 pm by John elvin in General Birding

Teigngrace - Cattle Egrets

Now 7 Cattle Egrets in entrance fields at Blatchford Farm, Teigngrace late pm ( and 9 Little Egrets).  5 Cattle Egrets showing well feeding in sheep field by road, 2 Cattle Egrets with 6 Little Egrets in 2nd field on right with cows. 3 more Little Egrets opposite entrance in muddy field. The last time 7 were reported here was 18 December.

Posted March 16th, 2017 at 4:56 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding


Over 100 Black-tailed Godwits on the scrape by the Tarka Trail this morning. Some Sand Martins over too.

Posted March 16th, 2017 at 4:21 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Wednesday 15th March 2017

South Milton Ley

Migrant female Marsh Harrier over South Milton Ley this morning  (Vic Tucker)

Posted March 15th, 2017 at 6:35 pm in General Birding


Arrived at the reserve at dawn and by 630 no sign of any Spoonbills. However, at 7 a few Godwits flew over so I went to investigate: they've been off and brought their friends! At least 100 present and feeding well. The early start was for a ringing session and the first Chiffchaff of the year was caught on the first net round. Not much else until very late when another Chiffchaff which had all the hallmarks of an early migrant: gummed up feathers around the bill (see photo). Better was to follow when a Snipe was extracted! Never ringed one here before. A couple more Reed Buntings ringed too.

Migrant Chiffchaff

Adult Snipe trapped in the reserve today.

Migrant Chiffchaff                                 Adult Snipe trapped in the reserve today.

Posted March 15th, 2017 at 6:27 pm by jon Turner in General Birding

Soar Mill Valley

White Wagtail in the cove with male Pied and 5 singing Chiffchaffs.

Posted March 15th, 2017 at 1:54 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Exminster and Powderham

At least one garganey still around near the lower carpark this morning, but mobile. Wheatear on Powderham marsh, and good numbers of chiffchaffs and cetti's warblers in song :)

Posted March 15th, 2017 at 1:49 pm by Helen Whitall in General Birding

Baggy - N.Devon

7 hungry Wheatear (5 male + 2 female) searching for food amongst the maritime turf early this morning.


Posted March 15th, 2017 at 11:48 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Steps Bridge

A walk up river yesterday (Tues 14 March) produced an obliging pair of Goosander, Dipper, Marsh Tit, Grey Wagtail (pr), singing Chiffchaff and drumming Gt Spotted Woodpecker. Hope Mid Devon Branch's fieldtrip next week does better.

Posted March 15th, 2017 at 8:54 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

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