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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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 14th March 2017

Mount Gould, Plymouth

A Yellow-browed Warbler briefly in my garden early afternoon; I also heard it a number of times in neighbouring gardens.

Posted March 14th, 2017 at 7:58 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Man Samds

The 1st w/s Surf Scoter was again just south of Crabrock Point Man Sands this morning developing its plumage nicely. Also 2 Velvet Scoter with approx 300 Common Scoter.

1st w/s Syrf Scoter Man Sands 14 March 2017

Posted March 14th, 2017 at 9:48 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 13th March 2017

Berry Head

Late afternoon at Berry Head (after the Humpback Whale had gone back to Start Bay!) a 2w Iceland Gull and three early House Martins.

.2nd winter Iceland GullHouse Martin

Posted March 13th, 2017 at 8:12 pm by Mark Darlaston in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Bumped into  Mark D this evening at Berry Head he had seen a 2nd w Iceland Gull off the end of the Headland. It was still there when I arrived - until dusk.

Posted March 13th, 2017 at 8:01 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bolt Head to Goat Rock

Spring arrivals: Cracking male Wheatear on Bolt Head, three singing Chiffchaffs in Fir Wood & tired male Sparrowhawk on slopes by Goat Rock - almost certainly a migrant just in off the sea. Also: 6 Painted Ladies on the warm south-facing slopes.

Posted March 13th, 2017 at 1:56 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 12th March 2017

Wheatear at Berry Head

After all the whale watching I finally managed to find my first 2017 Wheatear, perched on the wall around the Guardhouse cafe, around 9.15am.

Posted March 12th, 2017 at 1:50 pm by Stephanie Murphy in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 11th March 2017

Topsham Rec

Further to my earlier post, I was surprised to find 7 Cattle egrets on the estuary at Topsham Rec at midday.  They soon flew off E towards the Clyst.  I assume that the 4 I saw flying up river earlier that morning connected with another 3 and returned to the Rec. But given the numbers around there could have been 11 in the area.  The Long-tailed duck was still on the river.

Posted March 11th, 2017 at 7:02 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Dartford Warbler

Dartford Warbler showing well today - more than the usual Stonechats & Skylarks

Posted March 11th, 2017 at 4:35 pm by Greg Bradbury in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


4 Cattle egrets flew down river over Exminster Marshes, circled around over Topsham Rec and flew back up river at 10:15. Long-tailed duck still present.

Posted March 11th, 2017 at 11:05 am by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 10th March 2017

Slapton Sands

Great View of Bonxie just offshore harassing the gulls. Also several Harbour Porpoises but no sign of Humpback although there was a report mid pm.

Posted March 10th, 2017 at 4:56 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 9th March 2017

Bowling Green Marsh - Cattle Egrets

When I arrived at the hide this lunchtime there were 2 Cattle Egrets towards the back of the marsh along with 1 Little Egret. Unfortunately, they flew off towards the estuary when a Buzzard spooked them at about 1.55.

Posted March 9th, 2017 at 2:19 pm by Nick Potter in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 8th March 2017


A rather pale, grey-and-white Chiffchaff briefly in the garden this morning. Anyone care to ID to race?

'Grey' Chiffchaff (tristis/abietinus/fulvescens)
'Grey' Chiffchaff (tristis/abietinus/fulvescens)

Eds: Shows characteristics of 'Siberian' Chiffchaff 'tristis'

Posted March 8th, 2017 at 8:47 am by Jason Smart in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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