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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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 6th August 2017

Cattle Egret

A single Cattle Egret at Blaxton Marsh - Saltram Estate among about a dozen Little Egrets


Posted August 6th, 2017 at 5:07 pm by Greg Bradbury in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 5th August 2017

Yesterdays White-winged Black Tern BGM

White-winged Black Tern Bowling ( video here ) Green Marsh Topsham. Moulting adult with damaged leg. Also Ringed plover, Redshank, Dunlin etc.

White Winged Black TernSpotted Redshank

White-winged Black Tern                                      Spotted Redshank

Posted August 5th, 2017 at 9:50 am by Martin Rooney in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 4th August 2017

White-winged Black Tern - BGM - 04/08/17

Took several pics of this bird from the hide, (not best quality unfortunately as at distance limit of my camera). Several other birders with cameras in the hide so hopfully better pics will follow.

White-winged Black Tern White-winged Black Tern White-winged Black Tern
White-winged Black Tern

Posted August 4th, 2017 at 7:22 pm by Chris Bollen in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bowling Green Marsh

The moulting adult White-Winged Black Tern still late pm from the hide - also Wood Sand , Green Sand, Common Sand, Spotted Redshank , Whimbrel and 6 Ringed Plover

Posted August 4th, 2017 at 6:10 pm by Mark Bailey in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bowling Green Marsh

On arrival at the hide this lunchtime, a 'Black Tern' was feeding over the marsh and then rested on the island for a while before flying around to feed again. After some debate, most of the features pointed towards it being a moulting adult White-winged Black Tern. It was there when I left at around 1.30.

Posted August 4th, 2017 at 4:54 pm by Nick Potter in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


In addition to the 7 Glossy Ibis present this morning, (not sure what happened to my earlier post!) there were 2 unringed Spoonbills and 12 Black-tailed Godwits.

Posted August 4th, 2017 at 1:54 pm by Jon Turner in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Glossy Ibis

Four of the seven Glossy Ibises present again this morning.

Posted August 4th, 2017 at 1:28 pm by jon turner in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 3rd August 2017

Bolt Tail Thu 3 Aug 6:00 - 8:00 am

Seawatch from Soar Cove did not produce more than previous days despite of strong W wind: 96 Balearic Schearwaters, 240 Manx, 2 Storm Petrels, 1 Med Gull, 420 Gannet, 20 Fulmar.

Posted August 3rd, 2017 at 11:48 am by Hans Schekkerman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Hartland point


1320 Manx Shearwater

2 Balearic Shearwater

1 Storm Petrel

1 Sandwich tern

Posted August 3rd, 2017 at 10:41 am by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 2nd August 2017

Dawlish warren

Watched from 15:15 till 19:00

A wet and windy afternoon produced an execellent few hours sea watching the highlight was just before 18:00 just before a heavy pulse of rain started to move through picked up a group of 7 Skuas( 5 Arctic, 2 great ) just behind them a large shearwater appeared but before I could confirm Id it was lost  in the heavy rain.

The afternoon had started with a group of 4 storm petrels and a steady passage gave final count of 37+ , the main theme was a lot of Skuas the most numerous was Arctic Skua with 42+ ( just before I left 8 were on the sea and another 7 were flying in great to watch ) an impressive 11+ Pomarine Skua some very close, 8+ great skua.

Tern passage was strong all afternoon the majority were sandwich and common terns but one group of common terns close in also included 3 Artcic terns.

The supporting cast included 6+ Mediterranean gulls, 5 knot, 4 whimbrel , 26+ common gulls. 35+ common Scoter and a few Manx shearwaters.

An excellent afternoons birding 

Posted August 2nd, 2017 at 9:52 pm by Keith Birchall in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Seawatching on a very wet and murky day today produced (highlights): 3 Great Shearwater, 6 Sooty Shearwater, 31 Balearic Shearwater, 793 Manx Shearwater, 39 European Storm-Petrel, 21 Arctic Skua, 2 Great Skua, 1 Roseate Tern, 12 Common Tern, 3 Puffin,51 Common Scoter, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Redshank, 15 Dunlin and just 1 Harbour Porpoise! 

Video link to two of the Great Shearwaters if you slow the clip down and look hard.. 

Posted August 2nd, 2017 at 6:47 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bolt Tail 1 Aug 6.00-7.30 am

Seawatch at Soar Cove produced 106 Balearic Shearwaters, 350 Manx, 4 Storm Petrels, 1 Arctic Skua.

Posted August 2nd, 2017 at 3:31 pm by Hans Schekkerman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bolt Tail 30 Jul 6.30-8.00 am

Seawatch at Soar Cave, produced 58 Balearic Shearwaters, 400 Manx, 1 Great Skua.

Posted August 2nd, 2017 at 3:25 pm by Hans Schekkerman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 1st August 2017

Bowling Green Marsh

Went to Bowling Green Marsh for about an hour and a half this morning. I saw: a grey heron, 3 little egrets, 1 or 2 redshank, black-tailed godwits, a little ringed plover, 1 or more swallows, shelduck, 1 or more magpies, gadwall, black-headed gulls, about 8 canada geese, 2 wood sandpipers, 1 or more wood pigeons, 1 common sandpiper and a mediterranean gull. A good mornings birding.

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 8:07 pm by Samuel Gray in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Berry Head Yesterday: Med. Gull, Herring Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls, Swallows, Cormorants/Shags, Corvids and Magpies. Also some Harbour Porpoise and some good views of a pod of about 8 Common Dolphins.

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 7:54 pm by Samuel Gray in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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