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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Saturday 30th September 2017

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 07:30 till 15:25

A quick look from the hide to start showed good numbers of teal with 450+ and 80+ pintail.

from the viewing platform the first hour had 4 yellow wagtail, 150+ meadow pipit, 35+ skylark heading south west , also 400+ dunlin, 1 male stonechat, 12+ goldcrests, 50+ goldfinch, 10+ greenfinch, 3 chiffchaff, 2 jay.

After a quick stop in topsham back to the viewing platform produced my first juv ruff of the day among 220+ redshank, 25+ grey plover and 30+ little egrets, 1 peregrine, 2 bar tailed godwits.

from the hide 12:30 till 14:20, produced 12+ juv ruff , good numbers of black tailed godwits, and wigeon , 1 sparrowhawk.

then a quick look from viewing platform 14;25 till 15:05 , nothing new untill 14:44 as I was just about to leave when flying towards us a BITTERN appeared it flew across the field behind the viewing platform and headed towards exminster marsh giving us great views a rare sight on the marsh.

a look in goosemoor produced 42 greenshanks and 4 little egrets.


Posted September 30th, 2017 at 5:40 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding


126 (give or take a few) Black-tailed Godwits mid afternoon, plus 1 Ruff and one Little Stint.

Posted September 30th, 2017 at 5:07 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Yesterday 29 th September at Prawle

Merlin,Firecrest ( top of Pig's Nose ), male Whinchat ( vinifers cross ), Song Thrush x2,, Goldcrests x4,Wheatear x3, Blackcaps x12, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Little Egrets x5, 20 x Alba Wagtails incl. 8 whites. 9 Swallows, only 6 Chiffchaffs, 16 Robins. No YBW.

At Beesands 2 Chiffies, 2 Goldcrests, 55 Swans, 64 Gadwall and a pair of Common Hawkers patrolling in front of the hide.

Posted September 30th, 2017 at 8:54 am by Tony Marchese in General Birding

Friday 29th September 2017

Slapton Sands 29 September

An afternoon at Slapton Sands - approx 40 Gannets moved through, occasionally feeding in the bay off the main car park. A raft of 28 Common Scoter - i believe, 1 juvenile Wheatear, flock of approx 20 Linnet, 4 Shag fishing in the bay and I was almost taken completely by surprise by a juvenile Hobby.

Juvenile Wheatear
Juvenile Wheatear

Juvenile Hobby
Juvenile Hobby


Posted September 29th, 2017 at 11:22 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding

South Huish Marsh

2 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Little Stint, 3 Bar Tailed Godwit, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Wheatear and 1 Cattle Egret the highlights at South Huish Marsh this afternoon! At South Efford Marsh late morning 10 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper, 5 Greenshank, 14 Curlew and one Black-Tailed Godwit + over 300 very noisy Canada Geese!!

Curlew Sandpiper + Little Stint at South Huish Marsh -29.9.17
Curlew Sandpiper + Little Stint at South Huish Marsh -29.9.17

Bar-tailed Godwit at South Huish Marsh -29.9.17
Bar-tailed Godwit at South Huish Marsh -29.9.17

Cattle Egret at South Huish Marsh - 29.9.17
Cattle Egret at South Huish Marsh - 29.9.17

Posted September 29th, 2017 at 7:56 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Taw Estuary - Braunton Inn

A flock of Knot searching for food close to the Tarka trail late aft/early evening.

Posted September 29th, 2017 at 7:42 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Wrafton Scrape to Horsey Island afternoon walk

Further to JT's post 2 Little stint with 3 Ruff and 1 Knot with the 143 Blackwit.s on the scrape, plus a Chiloe Wigeon on the pond. On Horsey good numbers of green and redshank plus another Little Stint, a ruff, and bar-tailed godwit amongst the Blacktailed.Best of all a single curlew sandpiper in the Dunlin flock. Alao 14 little grebe.

Posted September 29th, 2017 at 5:50 pm by Andrew Lansdell in General Birding


A couple of Ruff at the Turf on Thursday evening. 

Posted September 29th, 2017 at 5:00 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Wrafton scrape

Despite the shooters yesterday, there were over 100 Black-tailed Godwits on the scrape this morning, along with 2/3 Ruff, 1 Little Stint and a Greenshank.

Kingfisher fishing in the reserve.

Posted September 29th, 2017 at 1:20 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Thursday 28th September 2017

Seaton Wetlands

 Spoonbill at Black Hole Marsh


Grey Heron
Grey Heron

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Posted September 28th, 2017 at 11:13 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Woodbury Garden


Lovely visitor to our garden in Woodbury
Lovely visitor to our garden in Woodbury

Posted September 28th, 2017 at 10:25 pm by Roger Brooks in General Birding

Anchor wood bank - 12:00 - 13:00

Very quite on the Anchor wood side of the estuary with just 10 Blackwits, 2 Barwits, 2 curlew, 4 Dunlin and a solitary Little Egret. No doubt there would have been a lot more stuff on the Pottington side

Little Egret standing tall
Little Egret standing tall

Posted September 28th, 2017 at 5:08 pm by Roy churchill in General Birding

BGM and Goosemoor

Goosemoor has become the place for close viewing of Greenshank

Greenshank - Goosemoor
Greenshank - Goosemoor

greenshank - Goosemoor
greenshank - Goosemoor

Canada Geese - BGM
Canada Geese - BGM

Posted September 28th, 2017 at 3:40 pm by Colin Scott in General Birding


Out on the scrape all morning were a least 130 Black-tailed Godwits, and one Ruff. However, at about 2p.m. as the jolly hunters then beat right across the scrape from the Tarka Trail towards Sherpa Marsh, to shoot Ducks (I hope) all the birds departed and a few shots rang out. I was leaving by this stage and didn't witness this carnage.

I had been in the reserve since 0630 seeing if there were a few birds to ring. Not many but one each of Blackbird, Song Thrush, Long-tailed Tit, Dunnock, Great Tit, Blackcap, Bullfinch and Kingfisher (10th this year) Also 2 each of Robin, Cetti's Warbler and Chaffinch, and the obligatory 3 Blue Tits.

Posted September 28th, 2017 at 3:25 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Wednesday 27th September 2017

Seaton Wetlands

A wet afternoon at Seaton Wetlands gave 3 Little Stint, 1 of which looked rather dishevelled and discoloured and was only seen late in the day. 9 Ruff, 1 Greenshank, 1 Dunlin (with 2 Little Stint most of the day, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Snipe, 1 Water Rail, 1 Little Egret, numerous Black Tailed Godwit, Redshank and Teal.

Little Stint
Little Stint

Little Stint
Little Stint

Little Stint
Little Stint

Posted September 27th, 2017 at 10:22 pm by Bob Telford in General Birding


Observed minimum 14 buzzards (possibly up to 16) 'hanging in the breeze' in a line above Wrangaton Golf Course / on the southern edge of Ugborough Beacon hill SX667 586. Occasional stooping, but couldn't see what they were hunting / catching. Noticed lots of large hairy caterpillars on the move across the moor. Is it unusual to see so many buzzards hunting together, and can anyone suggest what they were hunting? Do they eat caterpillars?

Posted September 27th, 2017 at 1:14 pm by Nic Butler in General Birding

Tuesday 26th September 2017

Horsey Island

Over the last few evenings, female Marsh Harrier, Buzzards, Kestrels, Peregrine, Barn Owl and Little Owl. Barwits, Blackwits, Dunlin, G W Egret, Little Egrets, Curlew, Oystercatchers, Greenshank, Redshank, Kingfisher, Knot, Little Grebe, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover and all the regulars. Three Roe Deer in the fields opposite the White House, first time I have seen them in this area. 

Posted September 26th, 2017 at 7:02 pm by R Barnes in General Birding

Velator Quay

10am, good views of a female Marsh Harrier over the reed bed next to the camera....!

Posted September 26th, 2017 at 11:10 am by Alan Denzey in General Birding

Monday 25th September 2017

Blackhole Marsh Seaton

On an early evening visit to the Island Hide caught up with the Grey Phalarope with a supporting cast of 3 Little Stint, a Spotted Redshank, 2 Green Sandpiper, 3 Common Sandpiper, a Ruff, a Water Rail and a smattering of Dunlin, Godwits etc.  Spotted a Snipe in the binoculars, only to see it had disappeared when I stood up to 'scope it.  Only then did I spot a Sparrowhawk all but submerged under water.  After a couple of minutes it made it to an island with the Snipe. It rested a while before flying off with the prey but clearly struggling with the dead weight of it.  About 100 Pied Wagtails and 25+ Swallows and a fly by Barn Owl before dusk.

Posted September 25th, 2017 at 11:05 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Preston Marine Parade

Early evening, spotted numerous Black Headed & Herring Gulls, a Little Egret, Turnstones, Oystercatchers, Carrion Crow and a Grey Wagtail.

Posted September 25th, 2017 at 9:15 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Passage House - Newton Abbot

There were 16 Greenshanks, 18 Little Egrets and 6 Little Grebes on the Teign at Passage House this morning. There 2 Cetti's Warblers singing at Jetty Marsh and another two along the River Teign by the cycleway bridge. About a dozen Chiffchaffs seen during the morning.

Posted September 25th, 2017 at 4:56 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

A hunting Sparrow hawk over Bowling Green Marsh just before the hide tide cleared the marsh and kept the returning birds on the alert, the Dunlin in the images did escape at one point actually diving in to the water.

Shortly after the Sparrow hawk had left a Buzzard came in over the marsh and landed on the ground to the right of the hide and effectively cleared all the gathered waders..

Notable build up of Wigeon, Redshank, Black Tailed Godwit and Curlew since last weeks visit.

Posted September 25th, 2017 at 4:37 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


On the scrape this morning: 160+ Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Ruff and 15 Knot.

In the reserve, 6 Blackcaps, Cetti's Warbler and the first calling Water Rail of the year. Red Admiral, Large White and several Speckled Wood.

Posted September 25th, 2017 at 2:35 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Sunday 24th September 2017


White Cheeked Pintail briefly on BGM - left about 5.30.

Posted September 24th, 2017 at 8:57 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Canada Goose oddities

The Canada Goose flock at Goosemoor this afternoon held two odd ones: one with extensive white on the head and neck and the other essentially a very small version of the normal Canadas (both on the image below). Forgot to mention earlier that a Mediterranean Gull flew in at Bowling Green and the White-cheeked Pintail was reported there.

Canada Goose oddities
Canada Goose oddities

Posted September 24th, 2017 at 7:09 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Lyme Bay boat trip from Brixham

4 arctic skuas confirmed from photos, with a scruffy dark phase adult in addition to those shown here.

Intermediate phase Arctic Skua, 2nd yr.
Intermediate phase Arctic Skua, 2nd yr.

Pale phase Arctic Skua, 3rd yr.
Pale phase Arctic Skua, 3rd yr.

Pale/intermediate phase Arctic Skua, adult.
Pale/intermediate phase Arctic Skua, adult.

Posted September 24th, 2017 at 6:51 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Despite no reports since last Wednesday, this morning the 2 “Red-rumped Swallows” were again seen from the Goosemoor viewpoint from mid-morning onwards. However, photos apparently show a pale undertail, which indicates that the birds are hybrids, presumably Barn Swallow x House Martin. Except in the best light, it was hard to see the true colour of the vent. The birds were clearly an odd shape though, showing much that would be visible in a real Red-rumped Swallow. Struggling initially in poor light and with brief periods when the birds were visible, I was sure I could see enough to suggest that they were Red-rumped – a salutary lesson indeed!

While watching the swallows in weak sunlight in mid-afternoon, first a juvenile Marsh Harrier created chaos over the marsh and then a Great White Egret flew in from the NW, apparently overflying BGM and continuing towards the estuary.

During the morning high tide, there were 2 Curlew Sandpipers and 1 Little Stint with the roosting waders (which also included Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwits), plus good numbers of Pintail and Wigeon. Two Grey Wagtails fed right in front of the hide. Five Snipe flew over Goosemoor, where there were 28 Greenshanks, plus a Ruff later in the afternoon.

Posted September 24th, 2017 at 5:47 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Lyme Bay Boat Trip

Boat trip into Lyme Bay from Brixham proved to be a bit lumpy. Escorted out from Berry Head by a Grey Seal and 2 Harbour Porpoise.Some Common Dolphin seen in the distance as we traveled out.  Not many birds about as we traveled out to about 6 miles. Once chummed birds appeared. 2 Great Skua, 3 Artic Skua, 7 Manx Shearwater,1 Balearic Shearwater, Many Great Black -Backed Gull, Kittiwake, Fulmar and Gannets.

Next Sunday is the last of the Lyme Bay trips for this year but will start the Torbay winter trips soon.


Posted September 24th, 2017 at 2:44 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding


Receiving daily visits to feeders from Sparrowhawk - running out of Sparrows but saving on seed!

Posted September 24th, 2017 at 2:34 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

Berry Head

Sea watch Sunday between 06.45 and 09.00 produced an Iceland Gull (probably 2nd winter) at 07.20. 1 Dark-phase Pomarine Skua, 25 Balearic with only 1 Manx Shearwater. One of the Balearics narrowly avoided being taken by juvenile Peregrine ! 64 Kittiwake with only 4 being juveniles and 1 Sandwich Tern.

Posted September 24th, 2017 at 11:39 am by Clive Mason in General Birding

Ringed GBBG, Axe Estuary

The GBBG's ring - originally dark green, now faded to turquoise - read V21. This French bird was ringed in 'Low Normandy', not Chausey as originally informed.

Posted September 24th, 2017 at 10:25 am by Margaret Mackintosh in General Birding


This morning (viewed from the road)...

One dipper on the stream and over the deep pond. Ten wigeon, 80 teal, 77 Canada geese, 7 coot, 2 grey wagtail, 1 white wagtail, 2 great spotted woodpecker, 2 marsh tit, 2 jay, 2 chiffchaff, 1 mistle thrush, 4+ goldcrest and dozens of meadow pipits.

Posted September 24th, 2017 at 9:26 am by Chris E in General Birding

Saturday 23rd September 2017

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 07:00 till 10:15

A good morning with 2 juvenile little stints including the ringed Norway individual , 2 juvenile curlew sandpiper among 60+ dunlin, 1 juvenile ruff, 850+ black tailed godwits, 6 bar tailed godwits, 1 whimbrel, 2 knot, 71+ pintail, 140+ wigeon, 1 gadwall , 30+ shoveler, 110+ teal, 3 little grebe , 1 juvenile peregrine , 1 sparrowhawk took a juvenile dunlin, good number of redshank and curlew, 2 water rail, 3 Cetti's warblers, 8+ chiffchaff , 12+ goldcrests, 1 blackcap, 3 grey heron .

Posted September 23rd, 2017 at 8:22 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Wembury and the Plym

A couple of hours spare this afternoon enabled a quick walk at Wembury and the Plym. Nothing out of the ordinary (having missed the Wrynecks) but was able to spend time taking some nice pictures of two Ringed Plovers (Wembury) and a small group of Turnstones (Plym Estuary)

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover


Posted September 23rd, 2017 at 7:16 pm by Duncan Leitch in General Birding


Black-tailed Godwits aplenty again this morning. About 100 before a bunch of them flew off, as did the group (10 or so) of Knot before I could get the telescope on them.

Posted September 23rd, 2017 at 1:38 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Friday 22nd September 2017


Low tide at the Skern rarely turns up many waders, but the saltings remained very wet after very high tides, and this afternoon was an exception. 40+ Ringed Plovers were spread thinly over the area with a few Dunlin. Also present was 1 adult Curlew Sandpiper, and 2 Littl Stint. 

Posted September 22nd, 2017 at 8:19 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Osprey Lopwell

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, two Osprey came flying upriver towards Lopwell Dam.  Dived for cover and managed to get a few distant shots which I have cropped.  

Posted September 22nd, 2017 at 7:44 pm by Shane Willson in General Birding

Around Topsham

Bar-tailed Godwits Black-tailed Godwit Greenfinch with lunch

Early morning viewing from BGM hide slightly difficult due to bright sunlight and mist, but still enjoyable. Hide was very busy. All the usual birdlife, including a Curlew Sandpiper and a Snipe. On the path down to the viewing platform plenty of Goldfinch and Greenfinch, of interest from the platform 3 Sandwich Terns, 7 Greenshank, 1 Common Sandpiper. 1 Peregrine overhead. Walking back through Topsham I spotted two Bar-tailed Godwits feeding with a Black-tailed Godwit. Also the Black Swan present close to the Goatwalk, giving the Mute Swans grief. Still plenty of Red Admirals and Southern Hawkers bombing around.

Posted September 22nd, 2017 at 6:49 pm by Steph Murphy in General Birding


This is the ring number of a juvenile Chiffchaff that was ringed at Hartland Point in June the morning after we caught some Storm Petrels. It has now turned up at South Milton Ley on 16th September 82 days after ringing, 95kms almost due south.

Posted September 22nd, 2017 at 5:14 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

East Soar

Very quiet this morning: 5 Ringed Plover, 10 Swallow, 80 Meadow Pipit, 16 White Wagtail, Wheatear, 21 Robin, 2 Blackcap, 10 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest, 100 Linnet & Bullfinch. Bring on the easterlies!!

Posted September 22nd, 2017 at 4:11 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


On the scrape, down to two Black-tailed Godwits this morning, and still 3 Ruff.

Posted September 22nd, 2017 at 3:49 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Missing ringed gull photo

I hope the photo isn't missing this time - ringed GBBG on Axe Estuary on Wednesday 21st. Ringed on Chausey island, France.

Ringed GBBG
Ringed GBBG

Posted September 22nd, 2017 at 10:42 am by Margaret Mackintosh in General Birding

White Cheeked Pintail

A white Cheeked Pintail on Youngs Park lake, Paignton I presume its  escaped from somewhere 20/09/17

White Cheeked Pintail
White Cheeked Pintail

Posted September 22nd, 2017 at 10:33 am by Tony in General Birding

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