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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Friday 7th April 2017

Challacombe Down Dartmoor

On walk from Headland Warren round to Vitifer Mine Valley, Wheatears (10), Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Tree Pipit (1), Stonechats, Stockdoves (4), Reed Buntings (4), Swallows (3), Redpolls (3), Siskins (2), Great Grey Shrike (1) at position SX 687 806 in Vitifer Valley.

Posted April 7th, 2017 at 5:26 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 5th April 2017

South Huish Marsh

While undertaking the Haldon Forrest Survey this morning one member of the team Dave Pakes  took a call from Mike Passman down at South Huish advising that a Spoonbill had just flown into the marsh from the sea at 10.30hrs.

On attending Dave confirmed that the Spoonbill was still present along with the recent Iceland Gull and a Cattle Egret.

Making my way down I arrived to find the Spoonbill on site with up to six Little Erret and one Cattle Egret, the Spoonbill flew off at 16.36hrs initially flying out to sea before turning and reaching great height in a remarkably short time and then headed off towards Torbay.

The Iceland Gull flew into the marsh at 7.15hrs and between those times the Cattle Egret flew off over the cafe.

Small bird species included Linnet, Pied Wagtails and a slow trickle of individual Swallows a first year plumage female Sparrow Hawk passed over while being mobbed by numerous small birds.


Posted April 5th, 2017 at 8:25 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Haldon Forest Survey

A 7.30am start at Haldon Forrest gave some 31 species which included Chiffchaff 28, Willow Warbler 5, Yellow Hammer 10, Treecreeper 2, Goldcrest 10+, Green and Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Snipe, Tree Pipit, Stonechat, Wren, Raven, Buzzard and Long Tailed Tit.

And 19 Fallow Deer.

Just outside South Brent on the way home 2 Swallow perched on overhead wires at Dean Cross.

Posted April 5th, 2017 at 2:04 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 4th April 2017

Aylesbeare Common

2 Dartford Warbler, 1 or more Stonechat, 1 or more Robins, Linnets and Crows/Rooks.

Posted April 4th, 2017 at 9:42 pm by Samuel Gray in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Yellow-browed Warbler again in my garden (Mount Gould) this morning for a few minutes.  

Posted April 4th, 2017 at 10:38 am by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Glaucous Gull

A few photos of the Glaucous Gull at South Huish marsh yesterday.

Glaucous Gull, juv Glaucous Gull, juv Glaucous Gull, juv
Glaucous Gull, juv

Posted April 4th, 2017 at 10:21 am by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 3rd April 2017

Soar and South Huish

Pretty quiet at Soar this morning but a Tree Pipit on Bolt Head and 21 Sand Martins passed through. 

At South Huish, the Iceland Gull present when I arrived but soon disappeared (too far away for me to be sure whether it was a juv or 2nd-w) and the Glaucous Gull (juv) returned mid afternoon to give good views. Also 1st-w Mediterranean Gull, 3+ Water Pipits (one in cracking summer plumage), 2 Swallows, and 4 Sand Martins. Finally, 2 Red-legged Partridges at South Milton Ley. 

Posted April 3rd, 2017 at 8:11 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Huish Marsh ~ South Milton

South Huish Marsh late morning through lunch time, perched Swallow on approach to the marsh, three others seen to fly over the marsh during the visit.

Ducks species included Teal, Wigeon, Shoveller,Mallard and Shell duck.

Curlew 2, Linnet male in full colour,  Stonechat, Rock Pipits, Pied Wagtails and one White Wagtail.

Little Egret 4 a Heron flew over the marsh out towards the sea.


Larger numbers of Herring Gull began to arrive and with them was a first winter Glaucous Gull and then at 13.06hrs a Iceland Gull arrived which I believe was also a first winter bird.


Back at home female Reed Bunting still coming into the garden feed station.

Posted April 3rd, 2017 at 5:20 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 2nd April 2017

Great Grey Shrike Saddle Tor Dartmoor

Great Grey Shrike in hawthorns below Saddle Tor and road  near Emsworthy 11am 

Posted April 2nd, 2017 at 7:57 pm by John Walters in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

West Charleton Marsh

Went down this afternoon hoping to see a Great White Egret seen on the marsh this morning ( apparently one reported flying over South Huish towards South Milton 07:00, probably same bird ). Unfortunatly no sign, the log book entry said it flew off towards Kingsbridge late morning. Fine compensation provided by a showy Bittern however, in a ditch near the scrape and often coming out in the open between 15:50-16:20.

Posted April 2nd, 2017 at 5:36 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 1st April 2017

East Soar

Alpine Swift watched for 7 minutes close up on the tip of Bolt Head between 1022 -1029 hrs. Could even see the white throat clearly! Also first Swallow and 13 Chiffchaffs.

Posted April 1st, 2017 at 12:03 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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