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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Wednesday 31st October 2018

Purple Sandpiper on Brixham Breakwater

Hoping that the North/East winds might have blown in some Purple Sandpiper, I was pleased to find a group of 6 halfway up the breakwater.

Also 14 x Turnstone and 2 x Rock Pipit

Purple Sandpiper Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpipers

Posted October 31st, 2018 at 5:37 pm by Bill Coulson in General Birding


Today the Godwit flock has increased to 10 on the scrape. Although early yesterday there were none 'coz it was frozen! Later in the day 9 appeared.

Ringing in the reserve yesterday was very busy - 87 birds ringed, mostly Finches, 37 Greenfinch and 18 Chaffinch plus 4 Gold and a lone Bullfinch. Also ringed 2 more Cetti's Warblers bringing the total to 14 for the year - the highest total yet.

Posted October 31st, 2018 at 4:11 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Braunton Marshes

A very obliging Water Rail

Water Rail
Water Rail

Posted October 31st, 2018 at 2:12 pm by Alan Denzey in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake.

I Mute Swan, c250+ Canada Geese, 37 Coot, 3 Shoveler, 2 female Scaup, , 1 male Goosander,, low numbers of Teal and Wigeon, 1 Cormorant.

Harvey Kendall

Posted October 31st, 2018 at 1:54 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Tiverton St Peter's churchyard

Black redstart halfway up clock tower. Same area where peregrine is seen, so enjoy it while we can...

Posted October 31st, 2018 at 11:03 am by Dave Bittern in General Birding

South Huish marsh late afternoon

Pectoral Sandpiper showing well at South Huish marsh also a water pipit spotted by David Pakes, A couple of Buzzards one with a snack can't quite make out what it's got, could be a frog.

Pectoral Sandpiper Water Pipit Buzzard
Pectoral Sandpiper                         Water Pipit                                             Buzzard

Posted October 31st, 2018 at 5:50 am by Richie Moore in General Birding

Tuesday 30th October 2018


A late afternoon visit. Lots of common stuff around, including a very obliging Buzzard on a fence post by the car park. The best birds were a Kingfisher, Little Grebe and Little Egret on the river and 5+ Ring-necked Parakeets, 4 of which flew off towards central Plymouth. 

Buzzard Mistle Thrush
Buzzard                                          Mistle Thrush

Posted October 30th, 2018 at 10:16 pm by Jason Smart in General Birding


Red kite being mobbed by crows 

Posted October 30th, 2018 at 7:04 pm by Graeme Davey in General Birding

Common Scoters Teignmouth

Small flock of approximately twenty five common scoters 500 metres off Sprey Point.  They appeared to favour this spot throughout last winter.

Posted October 30th, 2018 at 5:51 pm by Patrick Case in General Birding

Exmoor Red Kite

Red Kite interacting with rooks south east of Brayford at 13.20 today, perhaps a juvenile as pale underwing lacked definition.

Posted October 30th, 2018 at 4:49 pm by Jonathan Nicholl in General Birding


Amongst a flock of Long tailed tits, Coal tits and Goldcrests a single Firecrest in a pine tree in garden, second ever garden sighting almost a year to the day.

Posted October 30th, 2018 at 3:28 pm by A. COLLINGE in General Birding

Monday 29th October 2018

small flocks of Brambling

Small flocks of Brambling feeding on Beech mast on roads around east Anstey Common and Hawkridge

Posted October 29th, 2018 at 6:54 pm by Mike Coleman in General Birding

Plym Estuary

On this morning's high tide, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Greenshanks, 13 Dunlins, 42 Curlews, 145 Redshanks, Common Sandpiper, 5 Little Egrets, 13 Grey Herons & at least 1 Ring-necked Parakeet.  

Posted October 29th, 2018 at 4:56 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Top of Valley of Rocks Lynton

Large flocks travelling up the valley, fieldfare, redwing, pigeons, linnets, chaffinch, mixed tits, plus one solitary Egret a bit off track. 

Posted October 29th, 2018 at 4:03 pm by John elvin in General Birding

Morte Point

Red-throated Diver off Morte Point 0930 this morning, also Short-eared Owl around the Point between 0830 and 0930 eventually flying over the Bay towards Woolacombe. 40+ Gannets fishing around the buoy with Razorbills and Guillemots present.

Red-throated Diver  Short-eared Owl
Red-throated Diver                                          Short-eared Owl

Posted October 29th, 2018 at 4:02 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

Northam Burrows

Very .ittle around the Burrows early afternoon at low tide, but a Short-eared Owl, roosting in long grass near the 8 th green was a surprise.

Posted October 29th, 2018 at 3:23 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings for the Lower Lake this morning.

1m Goosander (first this winter), 1 Fieldfare, 1 Goldcrest, 2f Tufted Duck, 2 Little Grebe, 17 Moorhen, 48 Wigeon, 25 Mallard, 7 Great Crested Grebe, 15 Black-headed Gull, c150 Canada Geese, 9 Shoveler, 34 Coot, 1 Cormorant, 1 Mute Swan, 1 Kingfisher, 6 Teal, 2 Willow Tit, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Grey Heron.

Posted October 29th, 2018 at 3:03 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Sunday 28th October 2018

Longaford Tor

A flock of about 50 Golden Plover flying together whilst walking on Dartmoor this morning.

Posted October 28th, 2018 at 9:19 pm by Chris Baines in General Birding

Red Kite A361, Nr.Ash Mill.

My first Red Kite in Devon. Flying over North Devon Link Road. Friday afternoon (no internet ‘til tonight). 

Posted October 28th, 2018 at 6:34 pm by Kelvin Irwin in General Birding

Bradiford Reserve

Aft -  On the reserve 1 Ross's x Barnacle Goose in amongst a flock of Canada Geese.

On Wrafton pond 5 Wigeon & 1 female Pintail. On the scrape 8 Black tailed Godwits.

Posted October 28th, 2018 at 5:51 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Froward Point Harrier

News from Friday of a white rumped ring-tailed harrier seen just inland whilst walking coast path from Coleton Fishacre to Kingswear. Seen up the valley from cliff above Kellys cove. Very floaty actobatic flight. I assumed hen harrier but would love to know if others have seen and could confirm id

Posted October 28th, 2018 at 5:30 pm by Henry Trollope in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Good views of the male Scaup as well as the Ring-necked Duck. see my blog for more

Ring-necked Duck and Tufted Duck  Male Scaup and Tufted Duck
Ring-necked Duck and Tufted Duck                      Male Scaup and Tufted Duck

Posted October 28th, 2018 at 4:45 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Beesands Ley

Plenty of birds sheltering to the left of the hide out of the wind, counted 52 Mute Swans as well as a Black Swan, 46 Canada Geese and up to 100 ducks with Tufted, Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall and Shoveler. Probably more around the corner.

Black Swan
Black Swan

Posted October 28th, 2018 at 4:41 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Plym estuary / Saltram

At high tide this morning:

52 Curlew, 186 Redshank, 7 Greenshank, 20 Grey heron, 6 Dunlin, 6 Black tailed Godwit, 6 Little egret, 3 Little grebe.

Posted October 28th, 2018 at 12:53 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

AVOCETS on the Tamar

Sunny walk along the Tamar / Kingsmill Lake an hour after high tide. 30+ Avocets, 2 Grey Plovers, 4 Dublin, 6 Lapwings, 1 Great Crested Grebe not quite in full winter plumage. 2 Greenshanks, numerous Blackwits, Widgeon, Curlews, Redshanks, Canada Geese and 4 Grey Herons.

Posted October 28th, 2018 at 12:34 pm by Val Grehan in General Birding

North Hessary Tor

Late post 11 am yestrrday. Golden Plover,  about 20 flying.

Posted October 28th, 2018 at 8:51 am by Mave Goddard in General Birding

Mountwise, Plymouth

6 Cattle Egrets passing over Mountwise at 8.05. Heading north. 

Posted October 28th, 2018 at 8:14 am by neil moore in General Birding

Saturday 27th October 2018


Numerous Fieldfare 30-50 Badgers Holt around lunchtime today. They were spread between 3 Hawthorne trees.

Posted October 27th, 2018 at 9:31 pm by Lisa Morgan-Anstee in General Birding

Lynton area and Brendon Common

Really large flocks of Fieldfare all around this area. 

Posted October 27th, 2018 at 6:02 pm by John elvin in General Birding


Away for a few days so quite pleased to find a Little Grebe back in the reserve after an absence of several weeks. Also in there a Red Admiral out during a sunny spell between showers.

Out on the scrape:8 Black-tailed Godwits.

Posted October 27th, 2018 at 5:07 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Friday 26th October 2018

Hobby, Kennerleigh flying south

Hobby late this afternoon, twisting and turning low over the fields in Kennerleigh, probably driven south by today's cold weather. 

Posted October 26th, 2018 at 6:54 pm by Nicholas Armstrong in General Birding

Clennon Lakes

2 Yellow-browed Warblers still present outside-right, top corner of top lake & bushes top of rec (2 heard, 1 seen on two occasions) this am.

3 Med Gulls (ads) amongst Black-headed Gulls on rugby pitch c.08:00.

Also: 1-2 Kingfishers; 2-3 Chiffchaff; several Gadwall; 1 Migrant Hawker.

Posted October 26th, 2018 at 3:06 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Thursday 25th October 2018

Stantywell Farm, Otterton

An after work visit produced a brief Woodlark. Seen just south of the farm and it flew off towards the football pitch. Could not relocate. More info at

Posted October 25th, 2018 at 11:03 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding


Two Firecrests in Lipson this afternoon.

Posted October 25th, 2018 at 10:09 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Start Pt.

1 Yellow-browed Warbler, Start Farm. 1 Ring Ouzel, on hawthorns above coast path, east of Lannacombe. 3pm.

Posted October 25th, 2018 at 4:47 pm by Simon Smith in General Birding


Yellow-browed Warbler & 2 Firecrests on Marsh Lane footpath near Deer Bridge.

Posted October 25th, 2018 at 1:06 pm by Simon Smith in General Birding

Wednesday 24th October 2018


Ruff showing well this morning


Posted October 24th, 2018 at 9:53 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Hen Harrier

Noting the Torquay Hen Harrier (HH) post yesterday we today saw a HH in the Axmouth to Lyme Regis Undercliff NNR. The white uppertail-coverts clearly seen as the HH flew east under the cliff after , we assume, being chased out by a screeching Jay.London

Posted October 24th, 2018 at 7:16 pm by Tim&Jenny Holter in General Birding

Exminster marshes

A pleasant walk in the sunshine was enlived by a marsh harrier and peregrine close to the RSPB car park from the road down to the canal

Posted October 24th, 2018 at 6:43 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding


walked up to the dam looking for ring ouzels, but couldn't see any, only fieldfares about 25,   on the way back we had a ringtailed hen harrier working the ridge on the left hand side, this sighting was confirmed for us by a young lad who had took a photo of the bird showing the white ring just before its tail.  thanks for that.

Posted October 24th, 2018 at 5:48 pm by roger jewell& mike gibson in General Birding

Wembury & Saltram, 23rd October

Yesterday afternoon there were a fem/imm Merlin and a Wheatear at Wembury Point, followed by about 8 Ring-necked Parakeets at Saltram House (initially 4 chasing a Buzzard, then 5 together, then c8 whizzing around the trees).

Posted October 24th, 2018 at 10:17 am by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Tuesday 23rd October 2018

R.Taw Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford Sewage Works. 1200 - 1315

At last the small waders are beginning to show :- 8 Golden Plover; c30 Dunlin and 1 Ringed Plover. Black-tailed Godwit had dropped to only 8. About 400+ Curlew and 500 Lapwing.

Posted October 23rd, 2018 at 7:18 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

River Taw Home farm

Great Northern Loon

Posted October 23rd, 2018 at 4:35 pm by Gordon Westley in General Birding

Hope's Nose, Torquay

During a lunchtime visit, I bumped into a local who asked me to check out/ID a photo of a raptor that he had taken at 10.30 today. Camera image was clearly a Ringtail Hen Harrier flying across the site's lower slope. No further sign though. 

Later, close to the entrance gate, a lone Fieldfare and a large number of ladybirds! 

Posted October 23rd, 2018 at 3:29 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding


Took a group out to the Mewstone on a boat trip and was very surprised to see a Crane fly overhead towards Plymouth. All neck and legs, no photo sadly but have seen them before so positive in my ID.

Posted October 23rd, 2018 at 1:09 pm by Jonathan Rundle in General Birding

Monday 22nd October 2018

Lower Tamar Lake

Sightings for Lower Tamar Lake this morning.

1 Willow Tit, 2 Marsh Tit, 5 Tufted Duck 3m 2f, 15 Wigeon, 4 Grey Heron, 1 Mute Swan, 4 Little Grebe, c200 Canada Geese, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 7 Teal, 5 Coal Tit, 1 Nuthatch,1 Goldfinch, 4 Blue Tit.

Posted October 22nd, 2018 at 7:44 pm by Rod Mudg in General Birding

Reed Bunting?Linnet, Roborough Down, 22/10/2018

Sorry forgot the picture!!!

Eds - Reed Bunting 

Posted October 22nd, 2018 at 7:17 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Reed Bunting or Linnet, Roborough Down, 22/10/2018

Is this a Reed Bunting or a Linnet. Am hoping it's the Bunting. Seen today on Roborough Down, and if it is the Bunting then others seen a few days ago as well.

Posted October 22nd, 2018 at 7:15 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Great White Egret - Exminster Marshes - 22/10/18

Flew over my head towards the river as I walked down the path alongside the railway-line at around mid-day today

Great White Egret
Great White Egret

Posted October 22nd, 2018 at 5:38 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Budleigh Salterton

Pleasant stroll along Budleigh Salterton front this afternoon to the estuary. 6 pied wagtails, 3 linnet, 5 rock pipit and an obliging single dunlin. 15 wigeon near the entrance to the sea and a pair of little grebes. 

Posted October 22nd, 2018 at 4:24 pm by Ian Muir in General Birding


Three Cattle Egret in field close to Cockwood bridge at 10am. Up to six have been feeding among herd of cattle over past few days.

Posted October 22nd, 2018 at 1:06 pm by Philip Laver in General Birding

Ilfracombe Manx Shearwaters

After an evening out with friends, I stood outside the house admiring the night sky having a quick look up and listening for any Owls or migrating birds, there were flocks of small Waders flying around over the town. I'm guessing Dunlins, Plovers and or Oystercatchers. I was then gobsmacked to hear and see this late in the year six or seven Manx Shearwaters calling heading down out over the town toward the sea. Will be interesting to see if the date coincides with any calling heard on Lundy. 

Eds - This is very odd Manx Shearwaters have all but migrated south now, just the odd individual lingering, to get a group over the town at this time of year would be incredible in its own right  - for them to be calling too even more so.

Posted October 22nd, 2018 at 2:20 am by Martin Thorne in General Birding

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