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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Sunday 30th July 2017

Sooty shearwater, Lyme Bay boat trip

See attached photos of a dark shearwater which approached close to the boat this on this morning's boat trip out of Brixham. On the trip this was called as dark Balearic shearwater. From inspection of the photos it is clear that this is in fact a very worn Sooty Shearwater.

Sooty shearwater   Sooty shearwater Sooty shearwater
Sooty shearwater

Posted July 30th, 2017 at 7:00 pm by Chris Proctor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

BGM Wood Sandpiper

The two Wood Sandpipers were showing very well in front of the hide, around 2pm. Plenty of Black-tailed Godwits, Curlews, and Redshanks


Posted July 30th, 2017 at 5:46 pm by Greg Bradbury in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 29th July 2017

Bolt Tail Sat 29 Jul 6.30-7.30 am

1 Cory's Shearwater, 24 Balearic among 250 Manx Shearwaters; 1 Storm Petrel; pod of 8+ Common Dolphins.

Posted July 29th, 2017 at 2:23 pm by Hans Schekkerman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 28th July 2017

Orcombe Point

A 2 hour sea watch between 3pm and 5pm produced a Great Shearwater and 2 Sooty Shearwater. There were 4 Great Skua close in to the point for 10 minutes that mobbed a few of the local Gulls before moving on. A backup cast of 20 Manx Shearwater, a dozen Fulmar and lots of Gannet movement.

Posted July 28th, 2017 at 7:43 pm by Spencer Dicks in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 27th July 2017


    Early morning visit to Bowling Green Marsh was rewarded with excellent views of the two juvenile Wood Sandpipers.
    These close views were made possible due to the hard work that the RSPB had just done digging out new scrapes ( channels and mounds in the landscape) which encourage such scarce birds as these two and other waders. Anyone that has been to BGM can clearly see in the pictures the new landscape and the potential it has.


Wood Sandpipers                                                      Common Sandpiper

Posted July 27th, 2017 at 11:30 pm by Barry Rankine in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 26th July 2017

Berry Head

Seawatch 05.30-09.00hrs highlights: 2 Balearic Shearwater, 38 Manx Shearwater, 6 Arctic Skua, 1 Great Skua, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls (juvs), 2 Mediterranean Gulls (juvs), 61 Common Tern, 9 'comic' Tern, 17 Sandwich Tern, 87 Common Scoter, 1 Whimbrel. Also 7-8 Dolphin Sp. (probably Common) >S at 0800hrs and 8-10 Harbour Porpoise.  

Posted July 26th, 2017 at 3:29 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 23rd July 2017


fs little gull for about 5 minutes.also 6 med gulls 4ad,2 juv.17:00-18:25.At instow at least 61 meds following plough nr junction of bickleton.Just made a count rather than ages as mobile18:35-19:00.

Posted July 23rd, 2017 at 7:21 pm by Robert Marshall in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Lyme Bay Boat trip - Long-tailed skua

Some more photos of the Long-tailed Skua from today's boat trip - lifer for me.

Long-tailed Skua Long-tailed Skua Long-tailed Skua
Long-tailed Skua

Posted July 23rd, 2017 at 3:30 pm by Paul Treen in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Long-tailed Skua

Another excellent trip out with Nigel, the star was the Long-tailed Skua. Stunning Bird!


Posted July 23rd, 2017 at 2:48 pm by Simon Thurgood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Upper Torridge Estuary

15 Common Sandpiper

1 Green Sandpiper

2 Kingfisher

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Posted July 23rd, 2017 at 9:20 am by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 22nd July 2017


25 med gulls,14 ads,5ss,3fs,3juv,100bhgs4 dunlin,3 curlew,1 whimbrel,17:15-18:30

Posted July 22nd, 2017 at 8:02 pm by Robert Marshall in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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