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


If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help us 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 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 14th May 2017

Eastern Subalpine Warbler at Dawlish Warren

Caught up with the EASTERN SUBALPINE WARBLER around 10.30, where a number of birders had already gathered, thanks to Mark Bailey and his running commentary on the birds movements. It was calling and moving from Hawthorn to Apple Tree on the back track between the main pond and the golf course. Tricky bird to get a decent shot of as it was best to keep some distance from it. The general public at large were being frantically waved at to go the other way. Anyway, a very exciting tick for my list. Well done to Ivan for initially spotting it.


Posted May 14th, 2017 at 3:23 pm by Steph Murphy in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Woodchat Shrike

At 08:00 the female Woodchat Shrike ranging widely over Cuckoo Ball nr Bittaford.  Her position occasionally given away by harrying Meadow Pipit.  Also there a calling Cuckoo, Wheatear and a super Yellowhammer.

I've attached a shaky photo with another of the tree it was sitting in taken from the same  spot showing that you don't have to disturb birds just to get a snap.


Posted May 14th, 2017 at 11:57 am by Chris Marcol in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Cuckoo Ball, Ivybridge

Woodchat Shrike at Cuckoo Ball again this morning. Mobile but showing well to 9.30 am at least. Mainly frequenting fence line and gorse clumps around ancient burial chamber towards the top of the hill. Happily catching beetles and attracting the agitated attentions of local Meadow Pipits and Skylarks. Good views of Cuckoo here too. 

Posted May 14th, 2017 at 11:56 am by Andy Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 13th May 2017

West Soar

Bonxie flying east offshore mid-morning - patch tick! Also Fulmar & 34 Gannet. Spotted Flycatcher in Soar Mill Valley. Also: 2 Green Hairstreak.

Later at home in Harleston: Hummingbird Hawk-moth nectaring on Red Valerian.

Posted May 13th, 2017 at 2:48 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Sea watching, 7 to 9 am with Dave Holloway: 1 pale ad. Pomarine Skua (at 7.45), 1 Black Tern (8.45), 1 summer-plumaged Great Northern Diver (flew into Tor Bay), an intermittent trickle of Manx Shearwaters and Kittiwakes, a few Porpoises close in and a Tree Pipit in off the sea.

Posted May 13th, 2017 at 12:50 pm by Andy Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 12th May 2017

Prawle Point and South Huish

Seawatch from 7am till 11am. Forecast SSW and showers but weather remained SW,misty at times but no showers !

Adult Pomarine Skua,pale phase,at 9.55 east ( later,presumed same,west at 11.05). Arctic Skua dark phase east at 10.45 and a Bonxie west at 8.20am. 2 Great Northern Divers in summer plumage west at 10.40. Also 34 Common Scoters east and 196 Manx Shearwaters west ( includes group of 90+ birds) And a pod of min.12 Common Dolphins surfacing and leaping acrobatically. At the edge of the reserve my first Spotted Flycatcher at Prawle and a female Wheatear.

Arrived at South Huish at 12.45 and rain soon started. No reports of yesterday's Purple Heron but I did see the male Garganey, a female Yellow Wagtail, the Avocet, the Cattle Egret ,4 Dunlin and a White Wagtail.Also 20+ House Martins,15+Swallows and 2 Sand Martins.


Posted May 12th, 2017 at 6:54 pm by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Seawatching from Penlee, Cornwall, watched one of the Pomarine Skuas seen, fly cross border towards Bovisand Bay. An adult pale phase with "spoons".

Posted May 12th, 2017 at 4:25 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head: 06:00 - 09:30

2 Pomarine Skuas (both light phase, 1 ad, 1 2nd yr?, no"spoon",  c.08:45); 1 Gt Skua (chasing a Gannet, a Gt B-b Gull, then a Herring Gull, c. 07:00 -07:30); at least 31 Manx Shearwater; 10 Common Scoter (flew S and landed off head, c. 09:15, then flew back N, c.09:30).

Posted May 12th, 2017 at 12:33 pm by Dave Holloway in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 11th May 2017

Berry Head

Seawatch totals 0600-0830hrs: 1 ad Long-tailed Skua, 1 Pomarine Skua, 1 Bonxie, 1 Puffin, 1Great Northern Diver, 11 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Sandwich Tern plus 20+ C Dolphin, 2 H Porpoise.

Also 2 Spotted Flycatchers

video of Pomarine Skua: 

poor footage of the Long-tailed Skua: 

Posted May 11th, 2017 at 11:06 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 9th May 2017

Yarner Wood and Trendlebere Down

A morning visit to a very cold Yarner Wood and Trendlebere Down with Keith Male, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Raven, numerous Goldcrest some of which were very vocal, Redstart 3, Wood Warbler 3 one collecting nesting material, Pied Flycatcher 9, one male having a normal metal BTO type ring and a gold coloured ring on the other leg, staff checking the nest boxes advised that at least one box contained dead chicks. Wren, pair of displaying Blackcap, Raven, Song and Mistle Thrush, Mandarin and Mallard duck.

On Trendlebere down Linnet 4+, at least three families of Stonechat, Tree Pipit 3, a Cuckoo flew over the top of us and flew into the top of Yarner wood some time later a second bird heard calling out on the moors, Yellowhammer 5+ and Willow Warbler 3+.

Sparrowhawk flew over the A38 at Ashburton.

Posted May 9th, 2017 at 9:46 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 8th May 2017

Soar and South Huish

Soar - Swift, Spotted Flycatcher, Reed Warbler, 2 Sedge Warblers, Great Spotted Woodpecker, good views of Fox and c10 Bottlenose Dolphins off Bolberry

One Cattle Egret still on South Huish Marsh and also, Sand Martin, Ringed Plover and 3 Dunlins.

Fox Fox

Posted May 8th, 2017 at 8:34 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Older Posts in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts →

← Newer Posts in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts