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

Friday 21st April 2017


Started the day with 2 singing Whitethroats in gardens at the Rec and finished with 2 Swifts over Exminster Marshes.  During the day on a low high tide highlights were 41 Ringed plover and 1 Sanderling amount a large flock of Dunlin, 2 Ruff on the Clyst before moving to Goosemoor and 10 Whimbrel.

Posted April 21st, 2017 at 11:36 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding


Common Sandpiper on the scrape and another along the Caen not far from the Toll House this evening. Delighted to see a Swift over the reserve too!

Posted April 21st, 2017 at 9:30 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Snipe at Stover & Pied Flycatchers at Yarner Woods

A Snipe at the front of the hide at Stover today showed very well for a couple of minutes - that was long enough to get some decent photo's.

At Yarner Woods the Pied Flycatchers were showing all over the place, also heard, but not seen, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Wood Warbler heard, but again not seen.


Pied Flycatcher

Pied Flycatcher

Posted April 21st, 2017 at 6:57 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Male Redstart - Smeardon Down

A lovely male Redstart spotted this afternoon around 4 o'clock on the bottom fringes of Smeardon Down, Peter Tavy.


Posted April 21st, 2017 at 6:55 pm by Andy Brown in General Birding

Fingle Woods,Dartmoor

3 singing male Redstarts & 4 Tree Pipits the highlights.

Posted April 21st, 2017 at 2:59 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


While ringing in the reserve this morning an odd-sounding Goose flew around, I did see it later but not sure what it was  - Egyptian? Anyone out there see one, do let me know!

Ringed 40 Swallows and 15 Sand Martins caught last night, along with 3 Blackcaps, 3 Blackbirds, 2 Bullfinch, 4 Chiffs, a Willow Warbler and a half size Dunnock - the first juvenile of the year.

Also caught a Reed Warbler ringed in 2014. and 3 2-year old Blackcaps, (ringed in 2015).

Posted April 21st, 2017 at 1:13 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


Cuckoo heard from the garden of Littleham Mill near Bideford on Wednesday

Posted April 21st, 2017 at 9:39 am by Brian Sims in General Birding

Berry Head

Migrants thin on the ground again today despite the cloud cover. Fly-past birds included: 1 Whimbrel, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Great Northern Diver. off the headland there were still 6+ Common Dolphin and 1 Harbour Porpoise.

Posted April 21st, 2017 at 8:39 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Thursday 20th April 2017

Cuckoo's- Dartington + Hound Tor

Solitary cuckoo heard at close proximity on the dartington estate by conservation/ woodland wardens. called on several occasions from fixed point in a tree at a higher level. This added to 2 seperate cuckoo's heard in the woodland valley behind Hound Tor on sat 15th.

Posted April 20th, 2017 at 11:46 pm by jordan harris in General Birding

Yarner Woods, 20 April

At Yarner today - 3 male Redstart and 1 female showing regularly - female gathering nesting material. At least 2 male Pied Flycatchers calling and checking out nestboxes/nestsites.

Pied Flycatcher Pied Flycatcher Female Common Redstart gathering nesting material
            Pied Flycatcher                                                    Female Common Redstart gathering nesting material

Posted April 20th, 2017 at 11:19 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding

Pied flys

Male and female pied flycatcher together in copse above South Zeal this morning. 

Posted April 20th, 2017 at 4:59 pm by Jasper Michie in General Birding

Wrafton, Braunton area.

2 Common Sandpipers on the scrape this morning, although one was originally flying around Wrafton Pond and even landed on the viewing platform at one point. A Kingfisher also flew over. Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap singing in the reserve. The light rain seemed to dampen the temperature so not much showing.

This afternoon cycled to Saunton Sands sandy lane car park and along the American road to Crow point. Only 4/5 Whitethroats 3 Blackcaps, 15 Willow Warblers and 6 Chiffs. There may have been hundreds of Grasshopper Warblers, but I can't hear them anymore so I recorded none!

On the flooded area of Horsey, 1 Greenshank, 5 Ringed Plover, 12 Redshank, 24 Grey Plover (all in winter plumage) and about 30 Dunlin (in summer plumage). Finally on the Caen river just by the end of the old Chivenor lighting gantry, 3 Whimbrel.

A smattering of Sand Martins and Swallows, one House Martin.

Posted April 20th, 2017 at 4:16 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


Hobby over Turf yesterday evening. 

Posted April 20th, 2017 at 2:16 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding


1 Grasshopper Warbler reeling briefly in Soar Mill Valley early am plus at least 10 Whitethroats. The same or another Grasshopper Warbler reeling strongly and showing nicely in a stand of willows in a garden in Higher Soar mid-am.

Posted April 20th, 2017 at 1:44 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Wednesday 19th April 2017

Yarner Woods, 18 April

Sorry its late, but I thought I posted yesterday. 1 male Redstart and 1 male Stonechat.

Male RedstartMale Stonechat

Posted April 19th, 2017 at 9:11 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding

East Soar

A disappointing morning in the easterlies but managed 15 Swallow, Sand Martin, 16 Wheatear, 2 Sedge Warbler, 7 Whitethroat & 3 singing Willow Warblers.

Posted April 19th, 2017 at 6:42 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

A short eared owl this morning flushed from trees at the picnic area along the back path and flying onto the marsh where it looked most disgruntled. It then flew back to the trees before flying off again, this time gaining height and heading over the railway line towards Powderham Marsh.

Also good views of reed warblers and sedge warblers busily singing away.4 house martins with the swallows, blackcap and chiffchaff also seen.

Short Eared OwlShort Eared Owl

Posted April 19th, 2017 at 6:36 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Exeter and topsham

Got of the bus at matford park and ride this morning 06:20 and as I was about to cross the road by the Volkswagen car centre / garage I could hear a reeling Grasshopper warbler it was in a small bush and I watched it for 10 mins showing well and reeling away great way to start the day.

A quick look around Bowling green marsh between 15:00 and 16:30 produced the spotted redshank from the viewing platform , 1 1st winter Mediterranean gull , 15+ knot , 40+ grey plover, 6+ whimbrel, 12+ swallow, 5+ Cetti's warbler, 8+ blackcap, 5+ chiffchaffs, , 6+ buzzards.

Posted April 19th, 2017 at 6:21 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Malmsmead and up to Brendon.

Lots of Willow warblers in pairs,fledged Dipper,male Redstart,chiffchaff,2 Ravens,grey wagtails,bullfinch and lots more goldfinch than usual,nice to see good numbers of tree creeper,nuthatch and tits.Beautiful day.

Posted April 19th, 2017 at 5:57 pm by John Elvin in General Birding

River Clyst, Goosemoor

There were 3 Ruff, Common Sandpiper and Greenshank with 30-odd Black-tailed Godwits by Goosemoor cycleway bridge this afternoon. The Spotted Redshank called behind Bowling Green Marsh, but it was invisible behind the railway bridge! A Cetti's Warbler was singing by the bridge.

Ruff on R ClystBlack-tailed Godwit in partial breeding plumage








                              Ruff on R Clyst                                          Black-tailed Godwit in partial breeding plumage

Posted April 19th, 2017 at 5:42 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Morte Point

This morning, 5 Whitethroat (4m/1f) and 1 Speckled Yellow Moth

Speckled Yellow Moth
Speckled Yellow Moth

Posted April 19th, 2017 at 4:37 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

Ruff in Southcott valley

A male Ruff showing signs of summer plumage on the rapldly drying scrape in the southcott valley.   Nearby on Northgate pond a Common sand and Greenshank.

Posted April 19th, 2017 at 4:30 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in General Birding

Braunton Burrows Biosphere Reserve

South end to North end along American Road to Saunton.

Good fall of migrants this morning on the Burrows.

 63 Willow Warblers, 27 Chiffchaffs, 5 Common Whitethroat, 2 Lesser Whitethroat (First ones in, hopefully more later), 23 Blackcap, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Grasshopper Warbler.

Posted April 19th, 2017 at 2:11 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding


Two Common Sandpipers on the scrape this morning. Still precious little in the reserve: 1 singing Willow Warbler, 2 Reed Warblers. Good to see a Tawny Owl fly through the trees.


Up on Exmoor (above North Molton) a couple of Tree Pipits.

Posted April 19th, 2017 at 2:10 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Tuesday 18th April 2017

Exe Estuary

A flock of c 90 Brent geese were on the Estuary this evening. Too far down river to tell which sub species with bins, but most likely to be Pale-bellied at this time of year. They appeared to be off Starcross as viewed from Topsham.

Posted April 18th, 2017 at 10:12 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding

Pied flycatcher and wood warbler

Male pied flycatcher and a wood warbler in the oak wood above the River Barle just north of Dulverton. Other sightings included 3 pair of marsh tit, two pair of nuthatch, greater spotted woodpecker (2) and tree creeper (2). Three grey wagtail and a dipper on the river.

Posted April 18th, 2017 at 8:03 pm by Richard Gowen in General Birding

Mandarins at Lower Buckland

Three male Mandarins together on the river by Lower Buckland this morning.

Posted April 18th, 2017 at 7:36 pm by Colin Brooks in General Birding

Yarner Woods

Smart Wood warbler calling & showing well this morning

Posted April 18th, 2017 at 5:55 pm by Ian Pearson in General Birding

Fingle Woods,Dartmoor

Pair Goosander on river, 5 Pied Flycatcher & male Redstart in song.

Posted April 18th, 2017 at 4:49 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


Male Pied flycatcher at Powder mills this afternoon, stunning colours..

Posted April 18th, 2017 at 4:09 pm by john diplock in General Birding

Brixham Breakwater.

10 Purple Sandpiper on the old fuel bunkering jetty at the end of Brixham Breakwater. Thought they would have gone but nice to see.

Posted April 18th, 2017 at 12:08 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Monday 17th April 2017


This evening at least 4 Wheatear, lots of Meadow Pipit, 1 male Stonechat, pair of Linnet gathering nesting material, 1 male Reed Bunting and 1 Buzzard and 1 male Kestrel over.

Meadow Pipit Linnet gathering nest material Male Reed Bunting
Meadow Pipit                             Linnet gathering nest material                     Male Reed Bunting

Posted April 17th, 2017 at 11:12 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding


Started the day at Highfield Farm with Grasshopper warbler, Sedge warbler, 2 Cettis and 4 Cattle egrets. From Clyst viewing platform 6 Little terns distant down river.  3 Ruff on Bowling a Green Marsh. And at least 25 Whimbrel moving up river over course of the morning.

Posted April 17th, 2017 at 10:31 pm by Martin Elcoate in General Birding


A drive around Dartmoors quieter lanes, produced sightings of, Skylark many Meadow Pipits & Stonechats, Wheatears, Linnets, 1 Whinchat. 1 Whitethroat. The best by far was the sighting of a very smart male Redstart, also saw a Raven & Buzzards, many Swallows heading north

Posted April 17th, 2017 at 10:27 pm by Mike Luckson in General Birding

Wheatears on Dartmoor

Plenty of Wheatears at Saddle tor today also Meadow pipits and one cuckoo



Posted April 17th, 2017 at 5:58 pm by John Deakins in General Birding


a female feeding on Mountsland common,  Dartmoor about 12.00 today

Posted April 17th, 2017 at 4:44 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay, 13:45-14:45

Great Crested Grebe, 3 Teals, 7 Whimbrels, 2 Ruffs ( marsh ), 4 Sandwich Terns, Grasshopper Warbler and Reed Warbler.

Posted April 17th, 2017 at 3:52 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Sunday 16th April 2017

Exe Estuary and Elmsworthy

Early morning start on the Exe estuary was not overly busy with bird life on the low tide, from the hide at Bowling Green Marsh ducks included Teal, Wigeon, Shoveller, Gadwall and Tufted.

From the viewing platform Redhank, Curlew, Heron, very mobile Dunlin flock.

On the Exeminster side at least five Sedge Warbler, very vocal Cetti's Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Swallow and Sand Martin, another flock of Dunlin which landed and then seen to include 12 plus Ringed Plover, steady number of Shellduck coming into one specific area 89 birds at one point, fifteen Curlew.

Emsworthy on Dartmoor five Wheatear, Meadow Pipits, Skylark, spent ages listening to a calling "drumming" bird which eventually revealed itself to be a Snipe, Raven over head.

Posted April 16th, 2017 at 9:43 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

East Soar & Bolt Head/Slapton Ley

Morning at Bolt Head brought female Merlin heading east & over Prawle then Common Buzzard in off the sea flying strongly north. Also in off the sea: 54 Swallow, 3 House Martin, 2 Sand Martin & 7 Goldfinch. In the area: Whimbrel, 2 soaring Sparrowhawk, 2 Wheatear, 2 Willow Warbler & Nuthatch.

Later at Slapton Ley first Swift, 3 Common Scoter on the sea, 6 Whimbrel briefly on the beach, 3 Sandwich Tern, 2 House Martin & 2 singing Reed Warblers.

Posted April 16th, 2017 at 7:15 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A thorough look around this morning. A modest passage of hirundines with 38 Swallows, and 4 House Martins heading NW. Also, 3 Swallows hanging around, my first Whimbrel of the year here, Common Sandpiper, 2 pairs of Mallard with (12 and 9) ducklings, Stock Dove (4), Sparrowhawk and  Great Spotted Woodpecker (2).

As I arrived home (Mount Gould) a Ring-necked Parakeet flew over my house. Hot on the heels of Yellow-browed Warbler, this makes 110 species for the garden (in, over or from) since 1990.

Posted April 16th, 2017 at 6:14 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Another early morning visit to Dartmoor was rewarded by a stunning flypast of over a 150 Golden Plover which was even better when they landed in front of me. Otherwise usual suspects - Yellowhammer, Linnet, wheatear, m pipit, stonechat, raven and Skylark Inc 2 that were so intent on scrapping with each other in the car park they were oblivious to all the passing cars. 

Golden Plover fomationSkylark
             Golden Plover formation                                                                   Skylark - the winner

Posted April 16th, 2017 at 4:55 pm by Paul Treen in General Birding

Little terns topsham

Watched from 08:00 till 12:45

After doing the hedges first with nothing new in headed to the viewing platform at bowling green marsh , 20+ knot , 45+ bar tailed godwits and 20+ great crested grebes around the estuary , just after 08:30 picked up 3 small terns of starcross but with the light they were to far to confirm ID but size and flight pattern suggested little tern they eventually flew up river so I rushed around to the goatwalk and  they were just of riversmeet house but now there were 4 , they flew down river eventually they came back up river and this time there was 5 they were feeding along the edge of the estuary from turf up towards topsham they were around till just before 12:00, 

At least 60+ whimbrel flew up river in 3 groups whilst watching the little terns , 1 sandwich tern and 1 Avocet was opposite goatwalk, 

A quick look again from the viewing platform produced 45+ grey plover , 1 turnstone, 11 ringed plover.

Posted April 16th, 2017 at 3:39 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

RSPB, Labrador Bay

65 Common Scoter, 2 Long-tailed Ducks and 11 Shelducks on the sea with 5 Sandwich Terns flying close to the cliffs. Other birds: Stock Doves, Cirl Buntings, Chiffchaffs, 1 Kestrel, 1 Green Woodpecker...

Long-tailed Duck Common Scoter
Long-tailed Duck                                    Common Scoter

Posted April 16th, 2017 at 12:00 pm by david cawthraw in General Birding

Barn Owl Lipson

After a chance meeting with Magnus Robb at a conference, I decided to give nocturnal sound recording a go. It has been pretty quiet thus far but last night produced a surprise with a single Barn Owl call at 3.10 AM over Freedom Fields. Slightly random given the location!

Posted April 16th, 2017 at 9:50 am by Richard Billington in General Birding

Saturday 15th April 2017

Dipper, Two Bridges, Dartmoor

Took a couple of pics of a Dipper today. Just noticed it had at least 3 rings: Orange over silver (?) left leg & a yellow on the right leg.

Dipper, Two Bridges, Dartmoor
Dipper, Two Bridges, Dartmoor

Posted April 15th, 2017 at 10:14 pm by Alan Ford in General Birding


9 Siskins on the feeders in the garden this morning. a record for us. Also a pair of Great Tits checking out the nest boxes. Plus the usual Gold Green & Chaffinches. Dunnock Robins Blackbirds Wren & a Nuthatch a Hen Pheasant and a Sparrowhaek

Posted April 15th, 2017 at 6:50 pm by Mike Luckson in General Birding

South Milton and Aveton Gifford

Not a huge amount out there first thing this morning, or at least not where I went, the Iceland Gull was showing well in the sheep field behind the cafe at South Huish as was a Stonechat, Reed Bunting, Rock Pips and a single Swallow overhead.

Aveton Gifford had Greenshank and Common Sandpiper on the tidal road and the marsh had a reasonable selection of smaller species inc Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Bullfinch, Sand Martins, Dunnock, Long Tailed Tit, Wren. Yellow Hammer on the roadside hedges above the village.

Posted April 15th, 2017 at 6:31 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 07:00 till 12:30

a good day around the marsh a quick look around the hedges produced 7+ blackcaps and 7 Cetti's warblers, from the viewing platform 1 little tern with 6 sandwich terns over at powderham corner, 20+ great crested grebes.

From the hide the highlight was a spoonbill it flew through just after 10:15 but soon returned and over the next hour it spent it's time between bowling green and goosemoor, 1 little ringed plover put in a brief appearance right next to the spoonbill, 75+ bar tailed godwits, 40+ knot, 80+ dunlin, 5 whimbrel, 2 oystercatchers, 40+ black tailed godwits, 2 common sandpipers, 1 kingfisher, 400+ sand martins over the morning included 7+ house martins, 20+ swallows, 4 buzzards, 1 kestrel, 8 tufted duck, 2 gadwall, 8+ little egrets, 3+ reed warblers.

another look from the viewing platform on the dropping tide produced the female long tailed duck just of lympstone , 1 1st winter Mediterranean gull, 60+ grey plover, and along path to viewing platform my first female blackcap of the Spring.

overall a good mornings birding 

Posted April 15th, 2017 at 4:35 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

East Soar & Bolt Head

Vis mig  in off the sea included 175 Swallows, 3 House Martins, 2 Sand Martins & 5 Goldfinch. Also 12 Wheatears & Whitethroat across the area..

Posted April 15th, 2017 at 4:20 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Harris Hawk

There is a Harris Hawk with jessies/bells in the large yew at Clovelly House gardens seen at 2.30 pm today.No falconer in attendance so suggests it's an escapee

Posted April 15th, 2017 at 3:04 pm by Rob cleversley in General Birding

Cuckoo up the East Dart.

Stunning views of a cuckoo as it silently floated down onto a rock 15 ft away in the dying light of yesterday just below the East Dart Waterfall

Posted April 15th, 2017 at 2:00 pm by Rhys G in General Birding

Grasshopper Warbler-West Charleton Marsh

1 Grasshopper Warbler briefly reeling this morning on WCM, also Reed Warbler and Reed Bunting on the marsh, at least 1 Whimbrel heard overhead near Geese Quarries.

Posted April 15th, 2017 at 10:47 am by Barrie Whitehall in General Birding

Powderham Marsh

Bird species at Powderham Marsh today include: chiffchaff, canada geese, barnacle geese (2), greenshank (1), pheasant, lapwing, shelduck robin, buzzard, chaffinch, swallow and blackcap.

Posted April 15th, 2017 at 7:57 am by Samuel Gray in General Birding

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