Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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


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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Tuesday 30th October 2018

South Huish Marsh

Pectoral Sandpiper Spotted By Dave Pakes This Afternoon On South Huish Marsh.A Peregrine Flew Low And Scattered The Teal, Snipe & Sandpiper!!

I Re Found The Sandpiper Further Up The Marsh,  It Was Feeding Well In The Low Autumn Sunshine.


Posted October 30th, 2018 at 6:22 pm by patrick hawkins in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Clennon Lakes

2 Yellow-browed Warblers one at top lake by gate to Roselands and other down near the YMCA, in trees along the stream behind the Golf driving range. Cetti's Warbler still present and at least 17 Gadwall.

     YBWClennonLks301018ML1  YBWClennonLks301018ML2

                          Top lake bird                                                                         YMCA bird

Posted October 30th, 2018 at 4:48 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Prawle Point ( Reserve )

A Yellow Browed Warbler ringed this morning. Very few  other migrants present. 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcaps and 2 Grey Wagtails ( possibly migrants )

Y B.Warbler
Y B.Warbler

Posted October 30th, 2018 at 12:50 pm by Alan K Searle in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 29th October 2018

Slapton / Beesands

Raw N wind keeping things cool. Started off with a look at Start Bay and rewarded at 06:55 when a young Whooper Swan flew south, keeping going. Bit sad as I guess it's become detached from it's family. Also one fcy Med Gull amongst the now commoner Common Gulls.Vis mig from Slapton Bridge 07:35-08:45 was good with highlights of 10500 Woodpigeons south and Brambling, Lesser Redpoll, 54 Siskins, 92 Chaffinches and 16 Crossbills north. Firecrest and Kingfisher around the bridge.Ring-necked Duck and male Scaup still present along with at least one different female Scaup to yesterday ( light terrible for looking at the ducks in Ireland Bay ). Yellow-browed Warbler calling around the boardwalk below the sewage works. Black-necked and Little Grebe viewable from the pond dipping platform and watched an Otter swimming with it's fish across the ley.

Over at Beesands Ley late afternoon there was a juv. Great Crested Grebe, 5 Gadwalls, 2 Shovelers and 12 Teals. Lastly thought I had a storm driven petrel new to science flying around but it was probably a Daubenton's Bat.

Posted October 29th, 2018 at 5:55 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

N. Hallsands

A JACK snipe flushed this morning. An unusual sighting here. Still poor for common migrants, just 6 Chiffchaffs and 4 Blackcaps. No Crests.

Posted October 29th, 2018 at 3:19 pm by Alan K. Searle in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Middle Soar/Soar Mill Valley/Southdown Farm

Best today was a Short-eared Owl over the fields plus continuing easterly migration of 4140 Woodpigeon & 242 Stock Dove. Also on site: 12 Golden Plover, migrant Great Spotted Woodpecker, 680 Skylark, 28 Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, 31 Blackbird, Redwing, 13 Song Thrush, Blackcapo. Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, 115 Starling & 22 Magpie.

Posted October 29th, 2018 at 2:53 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

A canopy feeding long billed Willow Warbler gave me the run around this morning before eventually giving itself up and showing in well scrub. Also 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs, 6 Chiffchaff, 7 Goldcrest. 6 Blackcap.

Overhead proved fairly successful to in 1 hour the following was the pick of the bunch: 14 Crossbill, 4 Brambling, 42 Siskin.

Willow Warbler Berry Hd 29 Oct 2018 ML Willow Warbler Berry Hd 29 Oct 2018 ML

Willow Warbler

Siberian Chiffchaff Berry Hd 29 Oct 2018 ML Siberian Chiffchaff Berry Hd 29 Oct 2018 ML 2

Siberian Chiffchaff 

Posted October 29th, 2018 at 10:55 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 28th October 2018

Slapton Ley

Great start to the windy day looking at Start Bay when a fcy Black Guillemot flew north off the Memorial Car Park at 07:05. Could this be the same bird Dave Cope saw on 23rd September ? In Ireland Bay a male Ring-necked Duck, probably the bird that was at Beesands Ley earlier this year returning to the area. Also 2 Scaup ( fcy female and a male ), 92 Tufted Duck, c250 Coots and 2 Wigeons. Offshore heading north 7 Teals, 11 Pintails and 2 Common Scoters. 5 Brent Geese the other way.

Posted October 28th, 2018 at 2:17 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Prawle Point and East Prawle sightings yesterday Saturday 27th October

Highlights yesterday with Pat Mayer : a Barred Warbler found half-way down Pig's Nose Valley at 12.30. Showed well until it flew down the valley at 12.55pm but could not be relocated. Earlier at 9.35am a Harrier sp. seen flying from below the village, over Bunkers and around the point mobbed by Jackdaws. Reported on Twitter as a Hen Harrier but photos might indicate this bird had 4 'fingers' ! More news later.

Vizmig from the Hump starting at 7.45am  in cold ,breezy northerly wind : 3/4 Crossbills, 2/3 Brambling, 1 Bullfinch, 1 Fieldfare, 9 Siskins, Skylarks 26,Chaffinch 30, Meadow Pipits 27, Woodpigeons 500+, Stock Doves 121, Starlings 300,  Noteable that  few Goldfinches and Linnets moving this morning.

Elsewhere a couple of Goldcrests (fewer numbers than last year), Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. 1 Song Thrush. Also 6 Golden Plover over PIg's Nose Valley and 6 Kestrels locally and 1 Sparrowhawk.


Barred Warbler 27 OctoberBarred Warbler 27 October

Barred Warbler, 27 October 2018 Pig's Nose Valley, East Prawle

Posted October 28th, 2018 at 11:44 am by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 27th October 2018

Start Point to Prawle and back

Highlights were 8 Whooper Swans on the sea that swam past Maelcombe House heading east then later on rocks just east of Lannacombe Beach. Also 1 Yellow-browed Warbler in willows up from  Woodcombe beach and a Ring Ouzel there too. Just 2 Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest seen and heard on the entire walk!

Whooper Swans Lannacombe Beach 27 Oct 2018 ML

Left my camera at home today so here a hand held iphone to binoculars photo of the Whopper Swans!

Posted October 27th, 2018 at 6:14 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Great views of a Bittern out in the open in the higher ley from the bridge mid-morning. Also 2 Goldeneye, 3 Wigeon, 2 Firecrest and 20+ Siskin this morning.

Posted October 27th, 2018 at 12:45 pm by David Cope in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 26th October 2018

South Hams

Clearly overlap with earlier posts but....

Soar - Ring Ouzel, 12+ Song Thrushes, 3 Blackcaps, Chiffchaff, Siskin, Water Rail, Redwing, Goldcrest, plus c175 Stock Doves & 500+ Wood Pigeons over.

Slapton Ley - the Yellow-browed Warbler at top end of Ireland Bay still present  early afternoon, 12 Chiffchaffs, 2 Little Grebes & 4 Goldcrests. 

Posted October 26th, 2018 at 10:41 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Slapton Ley

One, possibly 2 Yellow-browed Warblers around the boardwalk leading to Marsh Lane. 20 flighty Teal in Ireland Bay may have arrived today.

Posted October 26th, 2018 at 3:20 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

East Soar

Best were 2 Ring Ouzel in Starehole and Merlin overhead. Vis mig easterly in the shape of c.1520 Woodpigeon & 620 Stock Dove, all mixed in together so these are my best estimates!

Posted October 26th, 2018 at 1:58 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 25th October 2018

Horsey Island

1 Great White Egret on Horsey late afternoon.

Posted October 25th, 2018 at 5:25 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 24th October 2018

Middle Soar to Southdown Farm

0755 to 1420hrs: Yellow-browed Warbler in willows west of Soar Mill Cove; Vis mig in the shape of 1100 Woodpigeon & 190 Stock Dove mainly south & east; 100 Jackdaw & 66 Starling going all ways; autumn peak of 800 Skylark, most grounded some moving west. Also on site: 17 Blackbird, Goldcrest, 3 Chiffchaff, 22 Blue Tit moving through Soar Mill Valley, migrant Great Spotted Woodpecker, 6 Long-tailed Tit, first Snipe & Reed Bunting of the autumn, 200 Linnet & 43 Yellowhammer.

Non-avian: Holly Blue, Speckled Wood & 19 Red Admiral. Later at Blackpool Sands 3 Clouded Yellow.

Posted October 24th, 2018 at 4:36 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 23rd October 2018

Clennon Lakes

2 Yellow-browed Warblers between the upper and middle lakes, calling and chasing each other. One located later between lower and middle lake. Cetti's Warbler still present, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Swallow at least 17 Gadwall, 2 Snipe and kingfisher.  

Yellow-browed Warbler Clennon Lakes 23 Oct 2018 ML

Posted October 23rd, 2018 at 7:10 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 22nd October 2018


Yellow-browed Warbler (East Prawle Wood), Black Redstart, Firecrest, 6 Chiffchaffs, Blackcap & 7 Goldcrests grounded. Overhead, c500 Wood Pigeons, 15+ Stock Doves, Golden Plover, Dunlin , c150 Jackdaws & 3 Siskins.

Posted October 22nd, 2018 at 9:27 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

East Soar

Yellow-browed Warbler still at Lower Soar, 5 Ring Ouzel in Starehole & Merlin over airfield. Vis mig easterly: 7760 Woodpigeon, 280 Stock Dove, 23 Golden Plover (inc.19 grounded), 1 Lapwing, 40 Starling & 10 Siskin W. Also on site: Great Spotted Woodpecker - migrant, 12 Pied Wagtail, 7 Song Thrush, 3 Blackcap & Chiffchaff.

Non-avian: Clouded Yellow, 2 Painted Lady, Peacock, Small Copper, Speckled Wood & 13 Red Admiral.

Posted October 22nd, 2018 at 4:41 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Older Posts in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts →

← Newer Posts in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts