General Birding

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 October 2018

Dawlish Warren

At 11.30 am from the lifeguard look out hut, 1 Sooty Shearwater flying in towards the sea wall and low to the water, and then out to sea passing by Langstone Rock.  Good view also of adult male Eider drifting and diving near the rocks below the sea wall.

Posted October 14th, 2018 at 9:48 pm by Nick Armstrong in General Birding

Otter Estuary

Footpath from White Bridge south is now open for access only to bird hide and viewing platforms.

Three 1st winter Med Gulls on the cricket pitch this evening with the gull flock and the Egyptian Goose with Canada Geese  in fields north of White Bridge. A Barn Owl has been hunting in fields north and south of South Farm Road during the early evening in recent days.

Barn Owl by Chris Townend

Posted October 14th, 2018 at 6:35 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Soar Mill Valley

Best was a Merlin but few migrants just Wheatear, 7 Blackcap & 4 Chiffchaff.

Posted October 14th, 2018 at 4:32 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


There were 2 Cattle Egrets with a Little Egret in the fields by Cockwood Harbour this morning (although they weren't to be seen when I passed half an hour later).

Posted October 14th, 2018 at 11:51 am by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Powderham Park, Saturday

Osprey on oak tree near castle 2pm.

Posted October 14th, 2018 at 7:08 am by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Saturday 13th October 2018

Berry Head seawatch

Totals for 07.45-15.45 in strong S wind: 2 GN Divers, 1 Red-throated, Diver, 2 Great Shearwaters (10.40 and 10.50), 1 Sooty, 8 Balearic, 5 Manx, 3 Storm Petrels, 48 Great, 27 Arctic and 1 Pomarine Skua, 1 Little, 2 Med and 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 1 Common Tern and 2 Puffins.

Posted October 13th, 2018 at 10:32 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Torbay and South Brent

Marine Parade, Paignton 18 Turnstone including the regular Dutch ringed bird.

Broadsands beach a non starter due to a beach full of dogs, a Heron struggling across the bay in the strong winds.

Some very helpful and knowledgeable sea watch birders were at Berry Head and spotted and helped identify a range of rather distant sea birds, good numbers of Kittiwake, Gannet and Razorbill. The more interesting species included Arctic and Great Skua (the Arctic was chasing the Kittiwakes) Balearic and Manx Shearwaters, Arctic Tern and a couple of Storm Petrels.

On the walk down to the quarry area 4 Swallow, 12 Meadow Pipit, 4 Rock Pipit, 9 Shag a raft of 18 plus Kittiwake.


Given the distance offshore the only half decent images were of a Great Skua.

Back home at South Brent the Hobby continues to visit and come in for food, 8 Canada geese over late afternoon and a single Tawny owl this evening.


Posted October 13th, 2018 at 9:33 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh 13th Oct 2018

Little Stint and Spoonbill.


Posted October 13th, 2018 at 9:28 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Friday 12th October 2018

Ilfracombe Pier

At dusk this evening, surprised to see so many Seabirds sitting out the gale. Along with 50 Oyster catchers and a Whimbrel were 6 Sandwich Terns, 11 Great Black Backed Gulls, 3 Juv Common Gulls, 100+ Lesser bbgull, Herring, Meds and Black Headed Gulls. 

 Sandwich Tern Shag

                                     Sandwich Tern                       Shag

Eds: the tern is a Common Tern not Sandwich see size compared to Common Gull. The extent of white on forehead, rather greyish looking primaries (not contrasty dark grey/black) and slightly paler base to bill rule out Arctic

Posted October 12th, 2018 at 9:04 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding

Bowling green marsh and exmouth

Started at bowling green marsh from 07:10 till 09:45

4 goosander dropped in just after I arrived a scarce bird on the marsh , pintail were continually dropping in with 180 up to the time I left Martin Elcoate had anther 36 arrive giving a very good count of 216 for the morning , 42 greenshank, 6 Dunlin, 2 turnstone, 180+ redshank, 2 avocet, 300+ wigeon, 2 tufted duck, 1 water rail, 1 little grebe, 2 grey heron, 2 little egret, 215+ teal. 3 bar tailed godwits, 200+ black tailed godwits, 1 whimbrel, 30+ curlew.

then moved down to exmouth for some sea watching from near to the lifeboat station and watched from 10:45 till 16:00

7+ Arctic Skua , 2 Balearic shearwater, 1 shearwater most likely sooty but only brief views,, 5 Manx shearwater,  9 fulmar, 7+ sandwich terns, 2 eider, 3 teal, 5 wigeon, 38+ gannets, 2 whimbrel


Posted October 12th, 2018 at 7:50 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding


14.30 - 16.30. Little Stint on the point. Spoonbill busy at the back of the marsh. 2 Dunlin. Lots of Pintail, not much else of note. Goosemoor had a few Lapwing.


Posted October 12th, 2018 at 5:56 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Thursday 11th October 2018

Teignmouth seawatch

Looking out from Teignmouth seafront 15:00-16:45: 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Common Scoters and c20 Mediterranean Gulls all south, plus lots of Gannets diving well offshore. Hard to be sure of exactly how many Med Gulls, as a few were feeding in the area rather than moving rapidly through. By comparison, only 3 Common Gulls!

Posted October 11th, 2018 at 8:08 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Spoonbill flew in at around 1.40 this afternoon to the marsh,

Posted October 11th, 2018 at 2:18 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding


7.30 - 10.45 Sadly no Little Stint but Spoonbill first thing (left north about 8.45), Ruff, , Avocet, Knot and Barwit amongst the usual suspects. In the bushes by the viewing platform Blackcap, Goldcrest and (reported by Dave Stone) Firecrest and possible YBW.

Spoonbill vid -


Posted October 11th, 2018 at 11:41 am by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Wednesday 10th October 2018


Two Cattle Egrets, with Little Egret and cattle, on inland side of Cockwood Harbour at c1100 today.

Posted October 10th, 2018 at 9:48 pm by James Camden in General Birding

Wistlandpound Reservoir.

Initially very quiet at the reservoir during a short visit today. 5 Little Grebes, 6 Cormorants and 9 Teal and then we were delighted to see a Great White Egret fly in.

Posted October 10th, 2018 at 5:57 pm by Margaret- Phillips in General Birding


Still bursting with Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits today, they seemed to be everywhere. 2 Treecreepers seen. Cetti's Warbler calling and another by Wrafton pond. The usual numbers of Speckled Wood butterfly around in the sheltered very warm sunny spots. Highlight of the day was the first CLOUDED YELLOW I have seen in the reserve.

Posted October 10th, 2018 at 5:29 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

East Soar

A fruitless quest for Yellow-browed Warbler in all the usual spots, in fact deathly quiet. Only item of note was 2 Coal Tits flying west up through Starehole Valley - genuine migrants!

Posted October 10th, 2018 at 4:53 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 07:30 till 09:00

Very Misty first thing 800+ black tailed godwits, 260+ redshank, 3 knot, 2 bar tailed godwits, 1 whimbrel, 90+ curlew, 11 avocet, the long staying adult winter male ruff, 1 Mediterranean gull nearly full adult winter, 1 common gull, 1 green sandpiper heard calling from goosemoor, 2 raven.

about 08:09 a group of 30+ lapwing flew in from darts farm direction and with them 1 Dunlin and the Little stint presumably the bird from yesterday afternoon.


Posted October 10th, 2018 at 12:25 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Tuesday 9th October 2018

Photo Request 2017 Bird Report

Invites have been sent out to our many excellent Devon bird photographers to submit a few of their best photographs into a linked Dropbox folder of birds taken during 2017 for the Devon Bird Report currently in preparation.

If you haven't already done so please send your photos all labelled as follows so we can create captions and know who the photographer was: so a Mediterranean Gull 2nd winter taken at Broadsands on 30 Sept 2018 by J Bloggs would be file named..    MdGll2wBrdsnds300918JBloggs 

If you have not received an invite and would like to submit a photo or two please let me know: 

many thanks

Posted October 9th, 2018 at 8:35 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding


Taken today in the Order Valley Nature Reserve , Plymouth. I was only about 2 meter away from the bird and it just sat and looked at me for about 2 minutes and then flew off very slowly.


Posted October 9th, 2018 at 4:38 pm by Peter Castle in General Birding

Sherpa Marsh (Braunton)

Starling, Song Thrush, Oyster Catcher, Curlew, Meadow pipit, Redshank, Bar Tailed Godwit, Kingfisher, Kestrel, Buzzard, Mute & Whooper Swam.

Whooper Swan
Whooper Swan

Posted October 9th, 2018 at 3:49 pm by Tim Williams in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

1 Little Stint present this lunchtime. I lost sight of it though at around 1.45 when some Lapwings spooked it but it may still be there.

Posted October 9th, 2018 at 3:40 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Skern 13:00

Avocet still present, also 1 Wheatear up by the 8th green

Posted October 9th, 2018 at 3:29 pm by Roy Churchill in General Birding

Dartmoor Barn owl

An early visit to Dartmoor above South Brent gave the unexpected view of a Barn owl, initially seen in the distance and then a lot closer before it flew off across the moor.


Posted October 9th, 2018 at 12:28 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Monday 8th October 2018


67 med gulls,40 adults,11 sw, 16fw 4 Brent geese 1 great crested grebe,Avocet present on leaving at 17:45.

Posted October 8th, 2018 at 6:28 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding


1 Avocet present now at 16:55

Posted October 8th, 2018 at 4:54 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

East Soar

Highlights this morning were a Merlin harassing Linnets and my first Firecrest of the autumn. Also: 3 Kestrel, adult Lesser Black-backed Gull race intermedius, 4 Chiffchaff, Bullfinch male, 15 Siskin W & 80 Linnet.

Need some easterlies soon!

Posted October 8th, 2018 at 3:01 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Snipe at Mansands

Quite low water level at Mansands this morning.  Usual visitors at the hide plus 2 Chiffchaff and a large number of Hornets. Watched four Snipe on the edge of the lake feeding in open water while two more washed and preened close to vegetation.

As we were leaving several hundred Swallows appeared suddenly and were catching the myriad flies etc over the lakes.

Snipe Snipe Snipe
Snipe                                                    Snipe                                                  Snipe

Posted October 8th, 2018 at 1:54 pm by Bill Coulson in General Birding

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