Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Missing Devon rarity records 2018 UPDATE

We have had a good response to the request for missing descriptions for a number of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. Thank you to those who have made the effort to provide these.

However some descriptions remain outstanding meaning, 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 but the report deadline is pressing.

If you saw any of 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.

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 White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March
Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May
Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May
Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August
Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August
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

Thursday 7th September 2017

Dawlish Warren

3 Black Tern seen today,from the hide,at approx. 11.30. They were a good way out, but through scope could see their colour and small size alongside the Sandwich Terns'

Posted September 7th, 2017 at 8:17 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 6th September 2017

Soar Area

Quail flushed underfoot in winter wheat stubble at Southdown Farm this morning. Also: Sparrowhawk, 700 Herring Gull, 41 Swallow, 19 Meadow Pipit, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Wheatear & 190 Linnet.

Non-avian: 2 Painted Lady.

Posted September 6th, 2017 at 1:55 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wembury Point

Wrynecks: two in view at the same time at 08:30, just SW of the pines inland from the Point. (Near the open gate on the tarmac track leading down to the patch of hard-standing and slipway, 50.3164, -4.1051).

Wryneck 06-09-2017
Wryneck 06-09-2017

Posted September 6th, 2017 at 10:54 am by John Bishop in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Isley Marsh/Yelland

Wryneck flushed from ground on south west coast path at approximately SS484327 at 07:15. Managed about a second of full lens binocular view before it dropped down into cover between path and higher grassland area. It is a popular dog walking route (as I was doing) but it by no means left the site. 

Nearest parking on access road to old Yelland power station. Access the spot from Tarka Trail either via the path up east perimeter of power station, or through gate at south west corner of RSPB Isley Marsh.

Posted September 6th, 2017 at 8:00 am by Lowell Mills in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 5th September 2017

Berry Head

Seawatch 06.35-15.15: adult Sabine's Gull (@0700), 35 Artctic Skuas, 4 Pomarine Skuas, c15 Bonxies, (also quite a few skuas very distant often in difficult light hence 21 Skua sps), 53 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 Sooty Shearwaters, c150 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Black Terns, 8 Common Terns, 7 "Commic" Terns, juv Little Gull, 1st-s Mediterranean Gull, c300 Kittiwakes, Harbour Porpoise, 2 Common Dolphins and Grey wagtail over. 

Posted September 5th, 2017 at 6:09 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


A Wryneck was seen in Totnes yesterday by Daniel Kent - identified by description and not a great photo but the dark line can be seen down the back of the bird!

Wryneck Totnes

Posted September 5th, 2017 at 8:51 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 3rd September 2017

Berry Head update

Seawatching 0620-1800: 1 ad Sabine's Gull @06:45, juv Little Gull, Sooty Shearwater,38 Balearic Shearwaters, 22 Manx Shearwaters, Long-tailed Skua (pale juv) @13:55, 10 Pomarine Skuas, 69 Arctic Skuas, 15 Bonxie, Yellow-legged Gull 1w, 13 Black Terns (incl. one flock of 12), 80 Common Terns, 10 Arctic Terns, 7 Sandwich Terns, 435 Kittiwakes (just 15 juvs), 50 Common Scoter S & 9 N, 13 Bar-tailed Godwits & Whimbrel. Also 12+ European Storm-petrels, but... @15:10 a frustrating short view of a slightly larger petrel (seen by 3 of us before heavy rain obscured the view with European Storm-petel close by it) showed grey covert bar, jizz better fitted Wilson's but will have to go down as Storm-petrel sp (again!). There was also a good movement of Fulmars (no count) but included one 'double light'. Also light passage of Swallows over the sea and a Wheatear landed on the point. 2 Harbour Porpoise were the only cetaceans seen.

Posted September 3rd, 2017 at 7:34 pm by Mark Darlaston in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Seawatching 0630-0930hrs: 1 ad Sabine's Gull, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 15 Balearic Shearwaters, 9 Manx Shearwater, 3 Pomarine, 8 Arctic and 1 Great Skua, 10 Common, 1 Arctic and 1 Black Tern, 255 Kittiwake (but only 2 juveniles!) 14 Common Scoter >S & 9>N.

1 Firecrest in woods just S of Berry Head Hotel.

Posted September 3rd, 2017 at 3:36 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Seawatching 06:40 - 09:10: Storm Petrel, 4 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Pomarine Skuas, 2 Arctic Skuas, 4 unidentified skuas (including possible Long-tailed), 51 Common Scoters, 86 Kittiwakes. Laurie Allnatt is still there so totals to be updated later.

Posted September 3rd, 2017 at 9:52 am by Will Salmon in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 1st September 2017

Soar and South Efford Marsh

Quite a few Wagtails today with 41+ Yellows (including a flock of 38 amongst cows) and 45+ Albas including c30 Whites and c10 Pieds. Also: 5 Spotted Flycatchers, 1 or 2 Whinchats, 3 Tree Pipits, 2 Garden Warblers, c10 Whitethroats, 9 Willow Warblers, 20+ Chiffchaffs, c25 Blackcaps, 10 Wheatears, Sparrowhawk, 4 Stock Doves, 4 Sand Martins and a Reed Warbler.

South Efford Marsh held 6 Greenshanks, 8 Common Sandpipers, 4 Teal, c25 Alba Wagtails including 8+ Whites, Wheatear and Green Woodpecker. 

Posted September 1st, 2017 at 6:12 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Nocturnal recording

I've been trying my hand at nocturnal recording in Lipson (Plymouth). It is not Cape May but the last couple of weeks have been interesting. Tree Pipit has been regular and I have some evidence of birds travelling in groups (12 calls, single, double and triple calls in less than 30s for instance on 27/8). Likewise for Yellow Wagtail, 21 calls over a similar period suggests a group. Other species have included waders (Oystercatcher quite regular and a Green Sand on 25/8), Grey Heron and a few Robins.

Posted September 1st, 2017 at 11:35 am by Richard Billington in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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