General Birding

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

Sunday 7th October 2018

Sunday 7 October

Haytor Tramway. 0815 - three Golden Plover high to the south; nineteen circling.

Aveton Gifford tidal road. 1230 - two Greenshank, one Bar Tailed Godwit

Posted October 7th, 2018 at 10:15 pm by Colin Brooks in General Birding

Soar Mill Valley & Southdown Farm

Highlight was a superb view of a female Merlin perched up on a straw bale. Also: 42 Gannet offshore, 2 migrant Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Swallow, 28 Alba Wagtail, 110 Meadow Pipit, 29 Robin, 12 Blackbird, 14 Blackcap, 17 Chiffchaff, 22 Magpie, 1 Jay moving west ( also 2 west on 4th), 40 Goldfinch, 450 Linnet & 22 Yellowhammer.

Later at Harleston 150+ mixed flock hirundines.

Posted October 7th, 2018 at 6:49 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Tamar estuary

This morning:

10 Little egret, 7 Grey heron, 25 Black tailed Godwit, 100+ Oystercatcher, 14 Curlew, 1 Kingfisher. 

Ernesettle creek: 2 Greenshank, and 1 Stoat in and out of the undergrowth.

Posted October 7th, 2018 at 2:45 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Cattle Egret roosting in willow below the Hartshorn plantation this morning. Also saw from the memorial car park  2 male Scaups in with 60+ Tufted Ducks in Ireland Bay. One looked interesting, maybe a little smaller. Went around Ireland Bay for a closer look but by the time I got around most of them had disappeared. Could not find them at Torcross either but doubt they have gone far and no doubt a closer look would prove them to both be Greater Scaup. 

Posted October 7th, 2018 at 12:48 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Saturday 6th October 2018

Captsone Parade

In the strong N easterly wind today off Ilfracombe. About 1km out it looked like a Seabird motorway. Heading down channel were flocks of hundreds of small gulls with a few Manx Shearwaters sp and Terns. Heading up channel were mainly flocks of up to 40 waders with a Super flock of nearly 100 Oystercatchers in close to the point. 

A Great Skua appeared and made a half hearted attempt to rob the 20 Gannets circling round only to be seen off by 40 Herring Gulls. 

In off the Sea, lots of Mippets, Linnets, Finches and a Snow Bunting. 

Oystercatcher Gbbgu Limpets it is then!
Oystercatcher                                      Gbbgull                              Limpets it is then!

Posted October 6th, 2018 at 8:51 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding

South Brent Hobby

Hobby South Brent "My" Hobby continues to visit each day, in previous years she has always left by mid September, a non birding friend at Didworthy (Between S/Brent and the Shipley Bridge/Avon dam) contacted me in the week to say that she had had three birds that she believed to have been Hobby's on her land at the beginning of the week, from what she described it sounded like an adult pair with a dependant youngster.

From the Newton Abbot area a 2018 hatched female Barn owl collected from a local vet this morning the bird is very thin and had been found laid in a road, exact location not obtained by the veterinary staff.


Posted October 6th, 2018 at 6:29 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Mediterranean Gull Brixham Marina

The Med. Gull spotted by Ali King a few days ago is still in residence at the top end of the marina under the pedestrian walkway.  There is a gale of wind blowing along the marina wall so the bird is finding it difficult to feed and is flying bumpily around the harbour and using up a lot of energy.

Mediterranean Gull  Mediterranean Gull
Mediterranean Gull                                           Mediterranean Gull

Posted October 6th, 2018 at 3:52 pm by Bill Coulson in General Birding

Bursdon Moor, North Devon.

Late post.

5th October.

Although quiet and slightly hazy at Bursdon Moor we had excellent views of a hunting Barn Owl which came pretty close several times.   Also 1 Kestrel briefly hovered and a pair of Stonechats.

The previous evening (4th Oct) the moor held 1 Whinchat and i Wheatear as well as the Barn Owl.

Harvey Kendall & Barry Bryne.

Posted October 6th, 2018 at 3:23 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Gannets off Sidmouth

Several gannets seen diving just off Sidmouth seafront at 10.00 am this morning

Posted October 6th, 2018 at 1:26 pm by Chris Frame in General Birding

Friday 5th October 2018

Cookworthy Forest

5 Common Crossbills.

Posted October 5th, 2018 at 8:35 pm by Barry Bryne in General Birding

Dawlish Wareen

Missed out on the Black Throated Diver - drat! But 10 Grey plover, 4 Barwits and two close in Eider made a nice afternoon out in the sun.

Eiders -

Bar-tailed Godwit Eider
Bar-tailed Godwit                                                               Eider

Posted October 5th, 2018 at 6:50 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Plym Estuary /Blaxton Meadow

On this afternoons high tide was the following:

Common Sandpiper 3, Black T Godwit 5, Curlew 29, Greenshank 7, Redshank 182, Little Egret 19, Grey Heron 21, Kingfisher 1 and a Little Grebe.

Posted October 5th, 2018 at 4:49 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

East Soar

Still very quiet, no vis mig just Great Spotted Woodpecker - migrant, 2 Sparrowhawk, 12 Chiffchaff & 1 Blackcap.

Non-avian: 2 Clouded Yellow, 4 Red Admiral, 5 Small White, 10 Speckled Wood & Emperor dragonfly.

Note:  Big music festival at East Soar Farm this weekend, suggest accessing Starehole Bay & Bolt Head via. Middle Soar footpath.

Posted October 5th, 2018 at 2:01 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Thursday 4th October 2018

Broadsands and South Brent

A late morning visit to Broadsands gave three Oyster Catchers and the biggest Seal that I have ever seen it was simply humongous! Thirty plus Carrion Crow on the beach, a single Common Gull in with the Herring Gulls an adult Mediterranean Gull flew in with fifty plus Black Headed Gulls, ten Great Black Backs.


Image one below is of a juvenile Greater Black Back Gull not so sure of the second gull (I suspect it is but) generally sleeker than the other GBBG's white head and upper body and a more slender beak without the GBBG's deep angle to the underside of the beak. 


It was back home to South Brent for a bird of prey bonanza, initially the resident female Buzzard coming in for food, followed by the Hobby at 5.40pm, a female Sparrowhawk around 6pm and shortly after that the reddish Tawny owl subject of recent images was showing well.

Six Pied Wagtails, a flock of Long Tailed Tits and a GSWP.

This evening no less than six Tawny owls with three in view at one point and another three calling.


Posted October 4th, 2018 at 9:04 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Exminster marsh

Not much of great interest today. Common Sandpiper at Turf lock, 2 Black Swan on the estuary, male Kestrel, Jay and a pair of Stonechat. Also checked Matford Marsh while awaiting the Flying Scotsman but little there except 4 Stock Dove.

Common sand video -

Flying Scotsman -

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Posted October 4th, 2018 at 7:30 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Wednesday 3rd October 2018

Isley March 3rd October 2018

A quick trip through Isley Marsh - curlew, teal, redshank, stonechat, little egret. Distant photos show spoonbill and  sparrowhawk.

Je n' EGRET rien - when its a spoonbill. Sparrowhawk
 spoonbill.                                 Sparrowhawk

Posted October 3rd, 2018 at 7:25 pm by Tim Williams in General Birding


1 female Common Scoter at Downend am. None at Baggy Point.

Posted October 3rd, 2018 at 2:00 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Tuesday 2nd October 2018

Lyme Bay boat trip from Brixham, late news

Among the gulls photographed at chum on Sunday's trip was this individual, a juvenile/1st winter yellow legged gull. Thanks to Mike Langman, Perry Sanders and Steve Waite for help with ID.

Yellow legged gull, juv/1st w Yellow legged gull, juv/1st w
Yellow legged gull, juv/1st w

Posted October 2nd, 2018 at 9:05 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Great White Egret - Stover Lake

A Great White Egret visited Stover Lake briefly yesterday  (Mon 1st Oct)11am - Noon. News only just filtered through via park visitors. Seen leaving towards the river Teign

Posted October 2nd, 2018 at 2:52 pm by JDA in General Birding

Shipley Bridge to the Avon Dam, South Brent

Shipley Bridge to the Avon Dam in poor heavily overcast conditions the cloud base sitting on the tops of the surrounding hills.

A total of 21 species identified, someone with good bird call knowledge would add to that tally.

Not Bad for birds of prey with Sparrow hawk, Buzzard, Peregrine and at least three Kestrels one or more being in view for most of the visit.

Mistle Thrush and Blackbirds making the most of the abundance of red berries, several tit flocks moving through the cover, brief view of a Dipper, Bullfinch and Goldcrest showing well.

At home at South Brent a Tawny owl making an unusual day time appearance.


Posted October 2nd, 2018 at 1:17 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Monday 1st October 2018


The feeders are back up after a summer break, great views of Marsh, Coal, Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tits as well as other woodland birds such as Nuthatch and Great-spotted Woodpeckers

Marsh and Blue Tits
Marsh and Blue Tits

Coal Tits
Coal Tits

Posted October 1st, 2018 at 7:16 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

East Soar

A quiet day in glorious sunshine: Tally included a stand-out Greenland Wheatear with 3 other Wheatear, 37 Alba Wagtail, 4 Kestrel, Swallow, 120 Skylark, 100 Meadow Pipit, 33 Stonechat, 8 Chiffchaff & 300 Linnet.

Non-avian: 2 Clouded Yellow, 47 Small White, 2 Small Copper, 10 Red Admiral, Comma, 14 Speckled Wood & 2 fresh Wall Brown.

Posted October 1st, 2018 at 5:16 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

01-10-18 Clearbrook

Nothing much around Roborough Down, but at Clearbrook a Green Wood Pecker was showing well, my first pics of this bird around this area

Green Woodpecker
Green Woodpecker

Green Woodpecker
Green Woodpecker

Green Woodpecker
Green Woodpecker

Posted October 1st, 2018 at 2:00 pm by greg bradbury in General Birding

Dipper at Gara Bridge, nr Avonwick

Spotted a Dipper foraging in R. Avon under Gara Bridge whilst cycling past. A first for me as a casual wildlife watcher !

Posted October 1st, 2018 at 9:40 am by Tony Martin in General Birding


Six ring ouzels around mine workings near the top of the O Brook at Hooten Wheals on Saturday (29th).

Posted October 1st, 2018 at 8:51 am by Richard Hibbert in General Birding

Older Posts in General Birding →

← Newer Posts in General Birding