Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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

Sunday 7th May 2017

Prawle Area

Black Redstart and 3 male Wheatears in set aside field near Gammon Head, otherwise a Whitethroat (36 singing males on territory) and Swallow day , with 115 Swallows either in off the sea or coasting eastwards. Butterfly species included 2 Small Pearl- bordered fritillaries, 4 Green Hairstreak, 2 Common Blues ( including one female) and a Small Copper. More warmth and sunshine would have produced more.

Posted May 7th, 2017 at 10:54 pm by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 6th May 2017

Bowling green marsh and goatwalk topsham

Watched from 10:30 till 17:00

started at the hide at bowling green marsh the 3 male ruffs showed well with 50+ black tailed godwits, 10+ tufted duck? 3 gadwall, 15+ wigeon , 5+ house Martin , 20+ swift among sand martins and swallows , 4 Cetti's warblers, 12+ reed warblers. 

From the goatwalk , 360+ dunlin , 2 sanderling, 13 knot, 23 ringed plover, 37+ grey plover, 8+ whimbrel, lots of swifts moving over exminster marsh

from the viewing platform at bowling green marsh another 8+ grey plover. 59+ bar tailed godwits, the Spoonbill  was very active today feeding most of  the time, just after 15:20 picked up a distant Osprey down river of Lympstone it caught 1 fish but lost it as it took off it then flew up river towards turf we saw it dive again but was lost to view ( other birders at the goatwalk saw it take a large fish and it headed up behind turf), 30+ swift through in small groups, 7+ buzzard through heading north up the river clyst , 15+ great crested grebe 

Another quick look from the hide produced a 1st summer Mediterranean gull.


Posted May 6th, 2017 at 8:47 pm by Keith Birchall in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Roadford lake

Greenshank and Common Sandpiper

Posted May 6th, 2017 at 8:43 am by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 5th May 2017

Prawle Seawatch

Seawatch from 7.20 to 1pm in NE going ENE 5-6 going 7 with PM : Hobby  in off the sea at 11.20am; 70+ Swifts gong east ,some in off; 2 Great Northern Divers in summer plumage west;15 Manx Shearwaters east;14 Bar-Tailed Godwits, 7 Grey Plover and 3 unidentified waders east;23 Common Scoter east;6 Swallows and 6 House Martins;a Chiffchaff and a Whitethroat newly arrived in off and a Wheatear flying east. Also 4 Dolphins ( probably Bottle- Nosed and a Harbour Porpoise.

Posted May 5th, 2017 at 11:26 pm by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Further to Keith's post the imm Spoonbill was on the estuary as viewed from the Bowling Green Marsh viewing platform at midday.

Posted May 5th, 2017 at 11:07 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 3rd May 2017

Exminster Marsh.

Sorry, late post for Tuesday 2nd May 0530 to 0600. 2 x Spoonbill feeding in distant shallow water as viewed from canal path by car park. Also drake Garganey on pond adjacent to road to canal car park.  

Posted May 3rd, 2017 at 8:31 pm by Mike Booth in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Haldon Forest Survey

Another trip up to Haldon Forrest  for five DBWPS members who make up one of the survey teams.

Goldcrest, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Yellow Hammer, Treecreeper, Song & Mistle Thrush, Nuthatch, Linnet, Chiffchaff and Buzzard seen in the woodland area.

The Heath land gave the days highlights, initially Stonechat with and feeding young, Green woodpecker followed by Tree Pipit and a pair of very confiding Crossbills.

Numerous other regular species recorded.

Posted May 3rd, 2017 at 1:28 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 2nd May 2017

Osprey over Yelland

The Osprey was circling high up with a lot of gulls over the old ashbeds at Isley marsh around midday today. Attached just  a record shot as it was very high up.


Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 10:02 pm by Roy Churchill in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Soar, South Huish Marsh & South Milton Ley

Soar was very quiet this morning: Wheatear, 3 Sedge Warblers, 4 Shelducks (going south west), 3 Blackcaps and 25 Whitethroats.

At South Huish Marsh later, 5 Cattle Egrets, Lapwing, 3 Whimbrels, 3 Sedge Warblers and Reed Bunting. South Milton Ley produced 4 Reed Warblers and 2 Jays.

Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 5:53 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exe Estuary

Up to Bowling Green Marsh and Exminster marsh with Keith Male for the midday high tide.


On BGM a Ruff and Greenshank in with the Godwit flock and a Spoonbill showing well, duck species inc some 10 Tufted, pair of Gadwall, Shoveller and Mallard with ducklings. Chiffchaff in the lane side hedge. Four Buzzard soaring high over the area

, On Exminster marsh 15 plus Reed Warblers very vocal but extremely elusive, Reed Buntings, a Garden Warbler, seven Whimbrel and at least two Lapwing on leaving a distant Hobby and a hovering Kestrel.

Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 5:27 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 1st May 2017


As I can't make the Devon Birds trip, I sneaked over for a preview today.

Good numbers of Manx Shearwaters on the outward journey, and in with one large raft were a few Common Terns and several Black Terns. Also the usual Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and the odd Gannet.

In Millcombe, 4 Blackcaps, Whitethroat, 2/3 Chiffchaffs, Goldcrest, and at the top of the valley Redpoll and Willow Warbler.

Walked out along 1/4 wall - two Sika Deer. Huge numbers of nesting Guillemots and Razorbills along with encouraging numbers of Puffins in Jenny's Cove. Plus Fulmars.

At Pondsbury 3 Teal two broods of Mallard, Sedge Warbler, Swift, House Martin. Then bird of the day: a Short-eared Owl which flew round and pitched in south of the pond.

After seeing a fine male Redstart along the east part of 1/4 wall, not much along the east side, but back in Millcombe with a little help from Tim and Tim, I saw Grasshopper Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, and a rather distant view of the Red-necked Grebe. Buzzard and Kestrel seen along with 2 Peregrine. 

Posted May 1st, 2017 at 10:17 pm by Jon Turner in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Redstarts and Cuckoo - Smeardon Down

A lovely pair of Redstarts showing well at close quarters (pics to follow) and a Cuckoo calling and later flying by at distance on Smeardon Down, Peter Tavy this evening

Posted May 1st, 2017 at 7:09 pm by Andy Brown in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bowling Green & Goosemoor

A drake Garganey was at Bowling Green Marsh early in the morning, flying off towards the estuary. Other ducks included surprisingly good numbers of Teal and Wigeon (15+), plus Shoveler (7), Pintail (drake), Gadwall (pair plus a drake) and Tufted (8). An Avocet and a couple of Whimbrel came in at high tide, as did 2 Ruff, Dunlin (200?), Ringed Plover (1), both godwits and some Knot briefly, before decanting to Goosemoor. A Swift went through and about a hundred mixed hirundines fed over in front of the hide.

At Goosemoor, 28 Greenshanks and a mixed bunch of Knot and both godwits fed for a while until the water level rose and the mud disappeared. Some splendid Knots and Bar-tails in breeding plumage, despite the dismal light!

Bar-tailed Godwit and Knots at Goosemoor Bar-tails in varying plumages! Garganey at BGM
Bar-tailed Godwit and Knots at Goosemoor   Bar-tails in varying plumages!                         Garganey at BGM

Posted May 1st, 2017 at 1:11 pm by Dave Smallshire in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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