Devon Bird Sightings from 22nd–30th November 2018

Breeding Birds

Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Many of these receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young. 

You should also apply these principles to vulnerable species without the wider legal protection. 

Although some species may be found breeding at numerous locations, please keep information about them limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting and Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and, as appropriate, the RSPB

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of disturbance and persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds. Unfortuately this can involve people wanting to photograph or obtain close views of the  birds, as well as eg egg collectors. 

Every year editors on this site have to remove or edit posts which breach the code outlined here. Please play your part in making this unnecessary. 

Thank you.

Posted March 20th at 3:43 pm 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

Wednesday 28th November 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A very wet & windy visit on the high tide produced a (drake) Goosander on Blaxton Meadow (very unusual on here), 2 Firecrests (there are probably at least 4 wintering), good counts of 255 Dunlins, 8 Greenshanks & 6 Shags, Mediterranean Gull (ad) & Common Sandpiper.

Also 10 Wigeons, 144 Redshanks, Little Grebe, Ring-necked Parakeet, Sparrowhawk, 29 Shelducks & a Grey Wagtail.   

Posted November 28th, 2018 at 7:56 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


A single Brambling feeding on the bird seed feeders in the garden this morning.

Brambling  Brambling
Brambling                                                   Brambling & Greenfinch

Posted November 28th, 2018 at 4:34 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Sidmouth sea front

4 Purple Sandpipers & 14+ Turnstone close to the sea wall late morning

Posted November 28th, 2018 at 1:51 pm by Ian Pearson in General Birding

Tuesday 27th November 2018

Bowling Green Marsh & Goosemoor

Fairly quiet this lunchtime in the pouring rain, but there were 3 Snipe, 1 Grey Plover, 4 Gadwall & 1 Pochard at BGM.

2 Black Swan on Goosemoor were a surprise.

Posted November 27th, 2018 at 10:24 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Cancellation of EAST Devon Branch fieldtrip

Please note that the fieldtrip to Dawlish Warren this Thursday has been cancelled due to forecast of adverse weather conditions.  The next fieldtrip will be held in the new year on Friday 4 Jan at Blackhole Marsh, Seaton.

Posted November 27th, 2018 at 6:58 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Monday 26 November 2018

Finally made it to Berry Head after a week's heavy cold and struck lucky with the weather. Here are a few more images of the Hume's Leaf Warbler. Having seen this bird tumble from the top to the lower branches several times I'm reinserting the 'Leaf' since this is what the bird actually looked like at times. Lovely to hear its tchuwee call rather than the Yellow-Browed's tsuweet.



Posted November 27th, 2018 at 5:34 pm by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Hope's Nose, Torquay

2-4pm. Sewer flowing very strongly. Flocks of herring and black headed gulls, but nothing more exciting than one or two common gulls, a lesser blackback (surprisingly scarce here) and  small groups of kittiwakes and a few gannets still passing. Farther out, 1 imm male eider feeding south of flat rock and a porpoise in water beyond the sewage slick. Other birds seen, pair stonechat, small numbers redwing and a buzzard. A male black redstart was reported to us in the cove on south side.

Posted November 27th, 2018 at 4:54 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Goosander on Lower Tamar Lake

16 Goosander 6m 10f on a dawn count, all birds flew off by 0745.

Posted November 27th, 2018 at 2:18 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Monday 26th November 2018

Velator resefrve

Max 18 Black-tailed Godwits out on the scrape during a very productive ringing session in almost perfect conditions - could have done with a few more degrees!



44 Greenfinch

16 Chaffinch

2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers

3 Reed Buntings

5 Song Thrushes

2 Chiffchaffs

1 Starling (1st ringed since 2010)

1 Firecrest

1 Siskin

1 Brambling (not seen or ringed since 2011)

1 Kestrel - juvenile male - third ringed on site.

Total ringed 87, which is coincidentally the number Chris Dee ringed at Arlington today!

Posted November 26th, 2018 at 10:38 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A dark-bellied Brent Goose with 16 Wigeon on Blaxton; also 3 Jack Snipe, Snipe, Kingfisher, 1 or 2 Firecrests, 5 Goosanders (one drake), 152 Redshanks, just 73 Dunlins, 24 Turnstones, 8 Greenshanks, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, just 33 Curlews, Common Sandpiper, Green Woodpecker, 7 Goldcrests, 2 Stonechats & a Stock Dove.

Posted November 26th, 2018 at 8:46 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Broadsands: the Red-necked Grebe was still present off Elberry Cove also, 4 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Red-throated Divers, 6 Common Scoter and 4 Mediterranean Gulls in the evening gull roost.

Around the car parks: 12 Cirl & 1 Reed  Bunting on seed in 2nd car park, 3 Chiffchaffs in the marsh and a single Water Rail. 

Clennon Lakes: 7 Chiffchaffs, 4 Goldcrest, the very confiding female Pintail still around the lakes as too was a single female Wigeon (unusual on lakes), 16 Gadwall, 8 Tufted Ducks, 5 Little Grebe, 1 Snipe and at least 4 Water Rail.

pintail female Clennon Lakes 26 Nov 2018 ML  wigeon female Clennon Lakes 26 Nov 2018 ML

                                         Pintail female                                                         Wigeon female              

Posted November 26th, 2018 at 7:41 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding


Today there seems to be an abundance of Black Redstarts from Larkstone, Lantern Hill, to the Landmarks cliffs. A Med Gull also seems to have taken up residence around the Pier and Wildersmouth. 

Black Redstarts    Mediterranean Gull
                                            Black Redstarts                                                      Mediterranean Gull

Posted November 26th, 2018 at 6:03 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding

Saunton Sands & Downend

Early am start produced 1 vocal Snow Bunting which flew north over the top of my head towards the Saunton Sands Hotel as far as the eye could see but did not alight. I would have expected it to be heading in the opposite southerly direction but not in this case!

Later, the Great Northern Diver landed in Bideford & Barnstaple Bay while I was still on Saunton Sands, so I headed out in the direction it was swimming towards Downend but not on my surfboard!

Managed to get in a good position above it to digiscope it for a record shot.

Posted November 26th, 2018 at 5:15 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Mud Bank Exmouth

40+pintail,1common sandpiper and 1gray wagtail in the culvert at 1pm

Posted November 26th, 2018 at 3:18 pm by Marie Leahy in General Birding

N. Hallsands.

A YELLOW BROWED warbler this morning,which remained in the same Willow bush for the entire time that I was on site ( 5hrs.) ; feeding continuously. Also present 9 Goldcrests and 7Chiffchaffs. Nearby 2Black Redstarts ( f/imm. ) on the roofs of the beach cottages.

Posted November 26th, 2018 at 3:07 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Middle Soar to Southdown Farm

A winter bunting count turned up an impressive 76 Yellowhammer and a disappointing 22 Cirl Bunting. Influx of 65 Blackbird, 49 Song Thrush, 8 Redwing & 4 Mistle Thrush inc.3N. Also: 6 Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, 100 Stock Dove, 4 Snipe, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers in Soar Mill Valley (away from breeding areas), 3 Chiffchaff, 42 Meadow Pipit, 3 Red-legged Partridge, 190 Starling, 100 Linnet & 30 Goldfinch.

Non-avian: Peacock flying in bright sunshine.

Posted November 26th, 2018 at 2:50 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Isley Marsh

Male Cirl Bunting in scrub by the coast path at c.09:00 then flew inland. Also 2 Spoonbills.

Posted November 26th, 2018 at 12:41 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

Exminister Marsh

Late post for yesterday late afternoon from middle car park. Very wet with road flooded. Marsh Harrier Imm/F, 3 Barnacle Geese, 510+ Teal, 800+ Wigeon, 14 Shoveler, 4 Pintail & 300+ Black-tailed Godwit. 

Posted November 26th, 2018 at 12:14 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Sunday 25th November 2018

Exe Estuary: Exmouth to Lympstone

Big flocks of Brent Geese (including a family of 5 Pale-bellied) and Wigeon in the Wildlife Refuge area this morning, with 230 Pintail. About 10 scattered Great Crested Grebes and 15 Avocets flew up the estuary at Lympstone. Just south of the village 2-4 Firecrests (two singles, later at least 2 together c100m away), but only one Goldcrest!

Posted November 25th, 2018 at 9:46 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Occombe, Preston

Quiet morning, surprisingly so after the rain over the last couple of days. Pair of Buzzards were flying low over the upper part of the reserve. Also viewed a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Starlings, several Wrens, 4 Blackbirds, a Chaffinch, male Pheasant, a Jay, Blue Tits & Great Tits.

Posted November 25th, 2018 at 6:52 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Brixham etc

Saw Hume's Warbler at Berry Head good views but no better pictures than those already posted. Great views of the GND in the harbour. Not much else other than some Rock Pipit on the breakwater. 3 grey seals in the harbour. Female Goosander flew down the Exe from the quay first thing seen from my bike! GND video - terrible Hume's Warb video.

Great Northern DiverGreat Northern DiverGreat Northern Diver
Great Northern Diver


Posted November 25th, 2018 at 6:00 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding


Good selection of birds in the reserve today: Goldcrest, at least 3 Song Thrushes, GS Woodpecker after seeing 2 together yesterday. Calling Cetti's Warbler, Good numbers of the 4 common Finches. Two each of Stonechats, Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails in the field outside the reserve - attracted by the cattle? Kestrel and Buzzard present. As I was leaving a couple of small birds attracted my attention - both were Chiffchaffs, then a third joined in the chase around and eventually there were I think 5, two of which flew out into the reed-bed on the south side of the reserve. Lots of Starlings with the cattle as I left.

Posted November 25th, 2018 at 5:07 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Exminster Marsh Sunday 25th

At 12.15 pm on Station Road near Lions Rest, Four Marsh Harriers seen together.  Excellent views for a few minutes.

Posted November 25th, 2018 at 4:01 pm by Patrick Case in General Birding

Clennon Lakes

A Siberian Chiffchhaff was with the long-tailed Tits this afternoon and at least 6 Chiffchaff - so a bit of an influx. Cetti's Warbler still present also a Wigeon and Pintail the latter the first in over 9 years.

Pintail Clennon Lakes 25 Nov 2018 ML Siberian Chiffchaff Clennon Lakes 25 Nov 2018 ML Siberian Chiffchaff Clennon Lakes 25 Nov 2018 ML

                         Pintail                                                                   Siberian Chiffchaff

Posted November 25th, 2018 at 2:57 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford Sewage Works 1045-1200

Black-tailed Godwit 21; Redshank c100; Dark bellied Brent Goose 4; G.B.B.Gull 13; Shelduck 25; Dunlin 8; Sanderling 1; Lapwing; Curlew; Oystercatcher; Little Egret and 2 male Pochard mid-river. Pochard stayed only briefly and then flew off down river.

Posted November 25th, 2018 at 12:46 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Berry Head

Following on from Bill's post also 2 Firecrests on top of head near to the navigation beacon and 11 Goldcrests.

Overhead:  3 Brambling, 40+ Chaffinch, 156 Redwing, 1 Fieldfare & 4 Siskin.

Firecrest Berry He 25 Nov 2018 ML

Posted November 25th, 2018 at 11:25 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Hume's Warbler - Berry Head

Hume's Warbler still in the same trees giving good views of itself to the birders present.

Posted November 25th, 2018 at 11:22 am by Bill Coulson in General Birding

Saturday 24th November 2018

Exe Estuary

This afternoon's Stuart Lines cruise was in pretty poor light, but there were lots of birds nevertheless. A female Common scoter was at the estuary mouth to start with, and an immature drake Eider was there on our return to Exmouth. The Great Northern Diver and Slavonian Grebe were again off Cockwood-Starcross, plus a Little Grebe at Starcross and c15 Great Crested Grebes scattered between there and Lympstone. Mergansers totalled maybe 20. Again there were big flocks of Brent Geese and Wigeon, with c100 or more Pintail. Waders also similar to 22nd, with maybe 500 Avocets and Golden Plover, c250 Lapwings, 1000 Black-tailed Godwits, c50 Knot and 2 Greenshank.

Posted November 24th, 2018 at 10:44 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Slapton and Beesands

2 pale-bellied Brent Geese came in off the sea and landed in Ireland Bay this morning. Also a Great Northern Diver south, a distant diver off the Memorial Car Park was possibly Black-throated and a flock of 12 Common Scoters. Around at Beesands Greylag Goose, Gadwall, 2 Teals, 5 Shovelers, Pochard, 16 Tufted Ducks, Goldeneye, Little Grebe and 43 Coots.

Posted November 24th, 2018 at 2:27 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Friday 23rd November 2018

Black Redstart at FPC, Plymouth

The solitary male Black Redstart was around the usual spot all morning.

Posted November 23rd, 2018 at 11:33 pm by Tony Hooper in General Birding

Great Northern Diver, Brixham Harbour

This Diver Put On A Good Show, Close As Fifteen Feet At Times It Spent Most Of The Day In The Harbour Area Were The Golden Hind Is Moored.

Dining Exclusively On Crab!!


Posted November 23rd, 2018 at 5:19 pm by patrick hawkins in General Birding

Northbrook, - Exeter Quay

5/6 Green Sandpiper today, also Kingfisher and Dipper on the Northbrook Grey Wags and Little Egret. Salmon Pool Little Grebe and Little Egret. Just past the quay - unusual to see a Tufted Duck and I think the Cackling Goose.

Dipper Northbrook Little Grebe Salmon pool Poss Cackling goose and Tufted Duck, Exeter Quay
        Dipper Northbrook                       Little Grebe Salmon pool           Poss Cackling goose and Tufted Duck

Posted November 23rd, 2018 at 4:22 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Hume's Warbler Berry Head

Thanks to directions from Mike Langman and on site help from local birders Malcolm and Ian, got a few shots of the Hume's Warbler when it perched on a low branch.  Call distinctive.

Happy as well to find a pair of Goldcrest  just above the little car park by Berry Head Farm.

Hume's Warbler  Hume's Warbler
Hume's Warbler                  Hume's Warbler


Posted November 23rd, 2018 at 4:06 pm by Bill Coulson in General Birding

Berry Head

The Hume's Warbler again present in same Willow Tree this morning approx 150-200m along road North of Wardens bungalow. It can be elusive but calls regularly.

Posted November 23rd, 2018 at 9:23 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 22nd November 2018


Black Redstart around Haven Banks, Exeter Quay this lunchtime. Redhead Goosander downstream from Trews Weir.

Posted November 22nd, 2018 at 9:45 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

Exe Estuary cruise

The first Stuart Lines birdwatching cruise proved to be an excellent one, with large numbers of wildfowl and waders providing a great spectacle. In addition to the Peregrine and Great Northern Diver already reported, we saw the usual Slavonian Grebe distantly off Cockwood and maybe 10 Great Crested scattered off Lympstone. There were large numbers of Brent Geese and Wigeon in the Wildfowl Refuge at Shutterton Creek and especially off Lympstone, the latter with well over 100 Pintail. Wader numbers were pretty spectacular as well, with hundreds each of Avocets, Lapwings (surprisingly good numbers so early in the winter), Black-tailed Godwits and Dunlin and maybe 500 Golden Plover roosting between Turf and Topsham. Of the scarcer species, there were about 70 Knot, a few dozen scattered Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Greenshanks, 2 each of Sanderling and Ringed Plover and a Kingfisher at Turf. Mergansers were just into double figures and perhaps 25 Shags were in the lower part of the estuary.

Posted November 22nd, 2018 at 6:51 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Junction of A30 and B3170

Minimum 20 Buzzards (feeding?) in field to NW of junction at 11.30. Have noticed a few there over past few weeks but never this many. 

Posted November 22nd, 2018 at 5:31 pm by Andy Rook in General Birding

22/11/18 - Stuart Line Cruise Exe Estuary

Excellent cruise up the estuary this afternoon - loads of waders as usual - highlight for me was a Pergrine scimming over the water in front of the boat of Exmouth Beach & a Great Norther Diver off Starcross.

Peregrine Great Northern Diver Great Northern Diver
Peregrine                                    Great Northern Diver                       Great Northern Diver

Posted November 22nd, 2018 at 5:05 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Good views of Marsh Harrier harrying wildfowl on reservoir this afternoon. Numerous passes putting up birds,all watched by female peregrine on  post. No sign of Merlin .Very large numbers of Canada geese including one with piebald head.

Posted November 22nd, 2018 at 3:59 pm by John Phillips in General Birding

Northbrook, Exeter

Quick look on the way home on a 500 yard stretch of the Northbrook (between Ludwell Lane and Woodwater Lane) gave - 1 Water Rail, 3 Green Sandpiper. 4-5 Grey Wagtail, 3 Pied Wagtail. 1 Little Egret,, 1 Wren and various other common birds (no sign of Dipper or Kingfisher who rarely get that far upstream) No bad for 500 yards worth of a culverted little stream on the edge of a council estate.

Grey WagtailPied WagtailBlack-headed Gull
Grey Wagtail                                         Pied Wagtail                         Black-headed Gull

Posted November 22nd, 2018 at 3:21 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

22-11-18 FPC Black Redstart

The Black Redstart showing well for a while then disappeared. Plenty of Redwings around along with the usual Magpies & Crows

RedwingBlack RedstartBlack Redstart
Redwing                              Black Redstart                                 Black Redstart

Posted November 22nd, 2018 at 12:40 pm by greg bradbury in General Birding

Berry Head

Discovered a Hume's Warbler calling quite regularly - along road 150m north of Wardens bungalow walking toward Berry Head Hotel. Still present mid morning seeming to prefer a large ivy covered willow tree in the fenced off area but beside the road, it does stop calling for several minutes (up to 20 mins when I was there) and then very difficult to locate.

Video and call here: 

Humes Warbler Berry Head 22 Nov 2018 ML   Hume's Warbler Berry Hd 22 Nov 2018 ML   Hume's Warbler field notes Berry Hd 22 Nov 2018 ML

Posted November 22nd, 2018 at 11:51 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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