General Birding

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  Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Caspian Gull, Thurlestone, 08 Feb 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


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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Monday 7th August 2017

Horsey Island

2 Glossy Ibis, 2 Spoonbill, 12 redshank 4 greenshank 2 Kingfisher a Male Kestrel and a quick glimpse of a female Marsh Harrier around 2pm this afternoon ...Dunlin ,Black Tailed Godwit the usual Gulls Heron & Egret and a single Sedge Warbler and a single Common Sandpiper aso present...

Posted August 7th, 2017 at 9:40 pm by Ken Ebsworthy in General Birding

Tawny owls ~ South Brent

Some images taken last evening when some of the recently released wild Tawny youngsters came in for their supper, the close up bird had actually managed to get back into the release pen and had to be caught up and re released and went off non the worse for its of the birds coming in having been found by a DBWPS member.


Posted August 7th, 2017 at 9:11 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Glossy Ibis at Horsey Island

Made my first visit to Horsey Island on Sunday to find the glossy ibises - and my daughter spotted five of them in the estuary, rather than the large "lake" where I was looking. Lovely to see them flying and three spoonbills as well. Are the ibises still around?

Posted August 7th, 2017 at 8:44 pm by Gordon Otley in General Birding

Swifts ~ South Brent

Late this evening good numbers of Swallows over the house at South Brent heading towards Plymouth, just on 8pm six Swifts came over, very vocal, shortly after that three spent some 20 mins screaming and racing around the roof tops as they do.

For most of the afternoon I was kept company by a very vocal Green Woodpecker, a Nuthatch over the garden this morning.

Posted August 7th, 2017 at 8:20 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Sunday 6th August 2017

Lyme Bay boat trip

Some pictures from this morning's trip from Brixham. A good range of species, spectacular shearwater rafts and our first really good views of Balearic Shearwater for this season. 

Arctic Skua, adult chasing Common Tern, juvenile  Balearic Shearwater Storm Petrels
Arctic Skua (adult) chasing Common Tern (juv)         Balearic Shearwater                         Storm Petrels

Posted August 6th, 2017 at 9:31 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

1 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper showing well this afternoon, also, 140 Black Tailed Godwit, and 2 Reed Warblers at the back of the marsh. A female Marsh Harrier floated through at 4 pm, occasionally dropping into the reed bed, before flying off towards Darts farm.

Posted August 6th, 2017 at 7:49 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Egret roost

33 Little Egret at the high tide roost above Instow on the Torridge at 7pm tonight.

Posted August 6th, 2017 at 7:27 pm by Martin Unwin in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A Cattle Egret on Blaxton Pool with 13 Little Egrets and 24 Curlews, Also 90+ Goldfinches and c60 Swallows. 

Posted August 6th, 2017 at 6:34 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Lyme Bay Boat trip from Brixham

Out again this morning on another 3 hour trip and wow what a difference, sorry Plymouth group!!! 500 + Manx Shearwater, 8 + Balearic Shearwater, 1 Artic Skua, 4 Storm Petrel, 6 Tern sp, 1 Razorbill, Guillemot, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Great Black- backed Gull. The Shearwater were in big rafts. 4+ Dolphins, difficult to ID species due to the swell. A most enjoyable trip. Next 3 Sundays we are full. 

Posted August 6th, 2017 at 2:06 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Female Sparrowhawk

A female Sparrow hawk landed on a dead tree in the back garden at Lipson, Plymouth, eyeing up the birds on my feeders

Posted August 6th, 2017 at 12:16 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Saturday 5th August 2017

Horsey Island

Four Glossy Ibis this evening. 1 Winter plumage Knot. 24 Mediterranean Gulls.

Posted August 5th, 2017 at 9:54 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Froward Point Wheatears

Small influx of Wheatears today. They will  be going south now I guess. Saw 2 on Froward Point and one on the bowling club green next door in Brixham.

Froward Point also gave us a male Clouded Yellow and some Painted Ladies.

Wheatear backdrop of Start BayClouded Yellow taking off

     Wheatear backdrop of Start Bay                                                 Clouded Yellow taking off

Posted August 5th, 2017 at 6:46 pm by Bill Coulson in General Birding


The immature Little Gull flew into the Skern again just before high tide at 5.00pm this evening. It rested up with mainly Black-headed Gulls and 2 each of Mediterranean Gulls and Common Gulls. Also about 20 Ringed Plovers .

Posted August 5th, 2017 at 6:29 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

DB Plymouth Group, Lyme Bay Trip.

Plymouth group had a trip out this morning from Brixham  into Lyme Bay. 1 Grey Seal in harbour. Nice and sunny but very quiet some Guillemot on the water, 2 Razorbill, 8 Scoter flying in the distance, a small group of Kittiwake on the water until we reached the 8 mile mark. At last birds started to come to the chum. Birds seen 3 Storm Petrel, 1 Great Skua, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull , usual support from the Herring Gull and Fulmar. Very few Manx Shearwater, approx10. Coming back in we saw 6+ Common Dolphin and 2+ further out. Today we reached the 9 mile mark. 

Posted August 5th, 2017 at 4:12 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding


Osprey at Gribbleford Bridge. On electricity cable surrounded on 3 sides with mature trees. Sorry no photo but larger than Buzzard, it's creamy white front and necklace of dark feathers,dark brown wings and back showed well in morning sun 8.30am. 

Posted August 5th, 2017 at 9:39 am by Sue Clark in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

3+ Whimbrels, 14 Ringed Plovers and 11 Dunlins in Charleton Bay on the high tide early AM. Surprised to see an unseasonal male Common Scoter between Charleton Pt and Lincombe Woods.

Posted August 5th, 2017 at 8:09 am by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Friday 4th August 2017

Glossy Ibis

4 of 7

And also this evening: 14 Black-tailed Godwits, 20+ Little Egrets, 12 Dunlin, 2 Spoonbills. 1 male Sparrowhawk, 9 Mediterranean Gulls to go with the 5 on the Caen saltings.

Posted August 4th, 2017 at 8:37 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings for today at the Lower Lake.

5 Common Sandpiper, 4 Great Crested Grebe and 4 juv, 2 Nuthatch, 3 Greenfinch, 1 Grey Heron, 5 Moorhen, 12 Coot, 3 Tufted Duck, 3 Robin, 3 Marsh Tit, 5 Blue Tit, 1 Willow Tit, 4 Great Tit, 10 Canada Geese, c50 Mallard, c10 Swallow, 3 Coal Tit, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 7 Chaffinch, 2 House Martin.

 Rod Mudge

Posted August 4th, 2017 at 4:35 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Horsey Ibises

4 of the 7.

Posted August 4th, 2017 at 2:54 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Thursday 3rd August 2017

Emsworthy Mire

Almost as soon as we started walking we had a quick view of a male sparrowhawk (at this point we didn't know what it was). It flew into the bushes so I followed it and had a quick but oh-so-beautiful viewing of this amazing bird plucking an unidentified prey item. We were also lucky enough to see a spotted flycatcher. We only saw one at a time but are very sure that there were more about. Other bird species that we saw here include: marsh or willow tit (probably marsh), blue tit, goldcrest, wood pigeon, wren, possible great tit, stonechat, nuthatch, robin, goldfinch, quick views of a possible (very likely) swallow, buzzard, chaffinch and chiffchaff/willow warbler.

Posted August 3rd, 2017 at 9:19 pm by Samuel Gray in General Birding

Horsey Island

Amongst a flock of 80 Dunlin & a few Ringed Plover 1 Knot in summer plumage.

Posted August 3rd, 2017 at 7:33 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

South Huish Marsh

Today at South Huish Marsh - A Yellow wagtail feeding around horses feet, 3 dunlin, a juvenile and an adult Mediterranean gull and a juvenile Yellow Legged Gull.

Thurlestone village - 3 spotted flycatchers in garden and around 10 swifts overhead

Offshore - a Sandwich tern, gannets, distant small shearwater sps. heading west, 2 small shearwater sp. closer in heading east, and a distant large shearwater sp. heading west at around 12:50hrs

Yellow Legged Gull - juvenile Yellow Legged Gull
Yellow Legged Gull - juvenile

Posted August 3rd, 2017 at 6:55 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Green Woodpecker

Juvenile Green Woodpecker on the front lawn AM, I was able to photograph through the glass of porch.  Pity the sun went behind a cloud but it came reasonably near as we prayed that nobody would walk through the Close.

    Green Woodpecker

Green Woodpecker

Posted August 3rd, 2017 at 5:53 pm by Rob Jerrard in General Birding

Braunton Toll Road.

The 7 Glossy Ibis have returned showing well from the toll road flood bank by the stables at 2 o clock this afternoon....Also a single Spoonbill...

Posted August 3rd, 2017 at 4:23 pm by Ken Ebsworthy in General Birding

Wednesday 2nd August 2017


18 swifts in a group over my house in Barnstaple this evening about 6.30 pm. Over the last two days have seen groups of swifts on my way round North Devon. Obviously migrating back south and the summer. Lets hope they find it. Ours seems to have vanished yet again!

Posted August 2nd, 2017 at 7:50 pm by Robert Morgan in General Birding

BGM Wood Sandpipers

Pair of Wood sandpipers BGM

Posted August 2nd, 2017 at 4:51 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

A wet morning at Bowling Green Marsh hide.  A Spoonbill was by the main channel when I arrived just before 11am, but unfortunately soon got scared off by a low flying aircraft (helicopter?).  A Common Sandpiper showed well, but I didn't see the Wood (or Green) Sandpipers this morning.  The number of Teal and Wigeon have increased since last week, and there was one Shoveler. A quick visit to Goosemoor on my way home at around 1pm found the re-located Spoonbill and the long-staying Spotted Redshank, as well as several Greenshank.

Posted August 2nd, 2017 at 4:50 pm by Richard Swinbank in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

All quiet on the western Front last night.

The 2 Wood Sandpipers showed very well. They y were joined by a Common Sandpiper & a juvenile Dunlin. Another common Sand flew in later just off the main channel. First visit since alterations, so don't know how deep, but one of the Woods decided it was quicker to swim across. Approx 10+ lapwings also presrnt.

Wood Sandpipers Wood Sandpiper & Dunlin Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpipers                Wood Sandpiper & Dunlin                          Wood Sandpiper

Posted August 2nd, 2017 at 1:31 pm by Paul Treen in General Birding

Tuesday 1st August 2017

Skua off Teignmouth.

Large Skua species off Teignmouth, Ness. Mobbing, chasing a group of Sandwich Terns.

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 10:54 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

South Brent

The morning started with a flock of juvenile Long Tailed Tits moving through the garden along with some juvenile warblers I suspect Chiffchaff, two Raven over head, a single swift and another late this afternoon.

This evening three of the four young Tawny owls that I have raised this season that were released on the 24th July came in for food just after 8.30pm as they have done since release giving me the chance to take a couple of photos.


Posted August 1st, 2017 at 9:28 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

East Soar

A few bits & bobs included 15 Swift, 3 Wheatear, Willow Warbler, post-breeding flock of 40 House Sparrow and 180 Linnet in two flocks inc.130 on Bolt Head. 

Yesterday had a small skimmer on cliffs at West Soar which was probably a wandering Keeled Skimmer but there is always a possibility of a Southern Skimmer (would be first for UK mainland).

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 5:57 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Braunton Toll Road.

Good views (within 50 metres )of 7 Glossy Ibis 2 still in summer plumage at 2pm this afternoon...Watched them for an hour before they flew off high in the Barnstaple direction..2 Spoonbill, 2 Ringed Plover and 8 Black Tailed Godwit also present.

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 5:31 pm by Ken Ebsworthy in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake.

2 Great Crested Grebes with 2 well grown juveniles, 4+ Moorhens, 2 Coot, 1 Grey Wagtail, 12 Canada Geese, Swallows and House Martins, 15 Mallard, 2 Nuthatches, 2 Coal Tits, 1 Great Tit, 1 Willow Tit on the feeders, 1 Chiffchaff,. Buzzard nearby, 3 Wood Pigeons, 1 Wren..

Beautiful Demoiselle, Banded Demoiselle, Blue tailed Damselfly, 1 Southern Hawker, 3 Red Admirals, 1 Peacock several Meadow Browns, 2 Carpet moths..

Harvey Kendall and Barry Bryne.

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 4:01 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Lynton the coast and woodlands aroundLee Abbey.

Young wheatear,12 gannets over 3porpoise,fulmars,large numbers of stonechats' 4 young spotted flycatchers,redstart and chiffchaff.

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 3:01 pm by John elvin in General Birding

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