Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Missing Devon rarity records 2018

Unfortunately no descriptions have been submitted for the following records of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. This means, 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.

If anyone saw 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.

Chough Northam 17-18 July  

Corn Bunting Beer Head 25 August

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 Shearwater (2) Berry Head 20 September

Great White Egret (2) Bridge Marsh, Axe Estuary 13 January

Great White Egret Black Hole Marsh, Axe Estuary 22 August

Great White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March

Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May

Great White Egret Stover 01 October

Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May

Little Bunting Slapton 21 October

Montagu’s Harrier Dartmoor 19 Aug

Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August

Ring-necked Duck Lee Moor 14 October

Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August

Serin South Hallsands 24 April

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


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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

Sunday 14th January 2018

Topsham cemetery

1 Hawfinch this morning.

Posted January 14th, 2018 at 12:12 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 13th January 2018

3 Firecrests, Millin Way, Dawlish Warren

 3 Firecrests, with a Goldcrest and a Chiff Chaff currently in my garden.

Posted January 13th, 2018 at 12:56 pm by Carole Leigh in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 12th January 2018


Nice flat sea to check over Torbay today: 11 Great Northern Divers, 1 Black-throated Diver, 3 Red-throated Divers, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 35 Great Crested Grebes, 35 Common Scoter, 63 Shag, 19 Cormorant and still plenty of Razorbill and Guillemots.

25 Cirl Buntings and 2 Reed Bunting on seed in 2nd car park and a Firecrest in willows by the small pool between the car parks.


Posted January 12th, 2018 at 10:16 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Slavonian Grebe Kingsbridge Estuary 7 January

Three photos of a Slavonian Grebe showing how its jizz changes depending on whether the bird is fluffing up its wings between dives or appearing to lie lower and more sleekly in the water immediately before diving.  The bill was often held slightly open.

The grebe was observed at a fairly close range (a first time for this observer) and for about 5 minutes.

Slavonian Grebe swimming between dives Slavonian grebe diving Slavonian Grebe prior to next dive
Slavonian Grebe swimming between dives     Slavonian grebe diving     Slavonian Grebe prior to next dive

Posted January 12th, 2018 at 9:23 am by Michael Woodman Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Goldeneyes Kingsbridge Estuary 7 January

Possibly sheltering from the stiff cold northerly wind on the morning of 7 January, two female Goldeneye appeared briefly right in front of the hide. before flying off inland.  Although the headshapes would appear to more closely resemble islandica, the bills indicate that both birds were in fact clangula.

Female Goldeneye Female Goldeneye Two female Goldeneyes
Female Goldeneye                               Female Goldeneye             Two female Goldeneyes

Posted January 12th, 2018 at 8:08 am by Michael Woodman Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 11th January 2018

Musbury Hawfinches

Two Hawfinches in Musbury late this afternoon. One calling and showing from the small car park near the Church at the top of Church Hill (looking south west). The second flew NE over me halfway along the footpath between here and Higher Bruckland Farm. Also 250+ Redwing and 4 Yellowhammer.

Posted January 11th, 2018 at 8:50 pm by Steve Waite in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Ludwell Valley Park, Exeter

One Hawfinch in the boundary hedge between the field behind the tennis courts and the annual flower meadow (same corner I saw one in December).  Also one Dipper along the brook.

Posted January 11th, 2018 at 4:36 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 10th January 2018


Adding to Rob's post: The Red-necked Grebe was in the Great Crested Grebe roost (best viewed from 3 beaches headland) and the Black-necked Grebe off Goodrington Beach. Bob Bailey also saw 3 more Great Northern Divers a Red-throated Diver and a Black-necked grebe off Preston seafront so a grand total of  30 Great Northern Divers in Torbay!

Posted January 10th, 2018 at 6:42 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Broadsands,Brixham, Stover

Broadsands: 20+ Great Northern Diver, 2 Black-throated Diver, I Red-throated Diver (Thanks Mike), Slavonan Grebe, 33 Great Crested Grebe, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Fulmar. In car park: 4 Siskin, 6 Bullfinch, 2 Greenfinch, 11 Cirl Bunting & 2 Reed Bunting.

Brixham Harbour: 4 Great Northern Diver, 11 Purple Sandpiper, I Turnstone. 11 Grey Seals hauled out.

Berry Head: 10 Fulmar, 3 Great Northern Diver S, Kittiwake, stacks of Gannets, Guillemots and some Razorbills. 50+ Common Dolphin.

Stover Lake: 30 Goosander inc.5 males, Pochard, Peregrine overhead, Kingfisher, Nuthatch, Marsh Tit.

Posted January 10th, 2018 at 5:00 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 9th January 2018

Around the Axe

Lots going on around the Axe Estuary at the moment. This afternoon an adult European White-fronted Goose and first-winter Caspian Gull were new in, as well as the long-staying Glossy Ibis (often just south of A3052 at Colyford where road crosses the Axe) and up to ten Water Pipit showing well (sometimes VERY well) on Colyford Common.

European White-fronted Goose
European White-fronted Goose

Glossy Ibis Water Pipits

Glossy Ibis                                      Water Pipits

Posted January 9th, 2018 at 9:47 pm by Steve Waite in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Broadsands to Goodrington

Checking the bay for wintering seabirds this morning produced: 2 Black-throated Divers, 17 Great Northern Divers, 34 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Black-necked Grebe and 2 Teal. Still plenty of Razorbills and Guillemots out in the bay.

At Broadsand 9 Cirl Buntings on seed in the 2nd car park and 1 Firecrest again in the marsh between the carparks.

Posted January 9th, 2018 at 10:05 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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