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

Wednesday 14th November 2018

Cattle Egret

The Egret was just outside the Velator reserve again this morning while we were ringing (lots more Blue Tits!) However, the farmer arrived to take the Cows away, and so I fear it has moved away! In the reserve, at last - a calling Water Rail.

Catching flies in among the cows.
Catching flies in among the cows.

Posted November 14th, 2018 at 5:58 pm by jon turner in General Birding

Gibbet Hill

Huge flock of Golden Plover, well over a thousand strong, wheeling and floating and peeping to each other over Gibbet Hill near Brentor this afternoon. Smaller flocks breaking away, then reforming then, breaking up again, and all the while circling roughly over the same spot for about 25 minutes. Looking for all the world as if they were just enjoying the experience of flying in the stiff southerly breeze. 

Posted November 14th, 2018 at 5:50 pm by Simon Martin in General Birding

14/11/18 - Black Redstart - Exmouth Marina

Adult female Black Redstart spotted darting from roof-to-roof on the flats around the marina this morning

Black Redstart  Black Redstart
Black Redstart

Posted November 14th, 2018 at 3:54 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

Haldon Forrest.

Starting at Haldon Belvedere (Lawrence Castle), 21 members of DB (East Devon Branch) undertook a 5k walk along the east side of the Haldon ridge and included the Raptor viewing site to the west. 

The grounds of the castle produced a Buzzard and a few small flocks of winter thrushes flying over but little else and a surprising absence of finch flocks.  The trail gave us several Goldcrest, 2 Gt spotted Woodpecker, Coal Tits, 3 Bullfinch, 3 Crossbill and a Treecreeper amongst others. In spite of the lack of birds the walk introduced many to an area few had visits previously and which was nevertheless most enjoyable. 

Posted November 14th, 2018 at 3:21 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Cookworthy Forest, near Holsworthy.

2 Crossbills this morning - very mobile.

Harvey Kendall & Barry Bryne.

Posted November 14th, 2018 at 2:56 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

14-11-18 Ford Park Cemetery

The male Black Redstart was showing very well East of the chapels where the grass has just been cut

Black Redstart Black Redstart Black Redstart
Black Redstart


Posted November 14th, 2018 at 1:52 pm by greg bradbury in General Birding

Tuesday 13th November 2018

South Hams

At East Soar, Firecrest, Fieldfare, 3 Redwings, Chiffchaff & 2 Goldcrests. Black Redstart (female type) at Hallsands plus 2 Cetti’s Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, 3 Goldcrests & Tawny Owl heard. First winter female Scaup still on Beesands Ley; also 3 Shovelers & Chiifchaff. At Slapton, the drake Ring-necked Duck (initially at the Torcross end before the Tufted Duck flock dispersed) & Chiffchaff.

Posted November 13th, 2018 at 9:31 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

This afternoon, 4 Barnacle Geese from Station Road, 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Cattle Egret with the cattle near the middle car park.

Posted November 13th, 2018 at 9:19 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

East Buckland - Red Kite

Red Kite circling at East Buckland @ 1400 on 11/11/18. 

Posted November 13th, 2018 at 8:02 pm by Mike Booth in General Birding

Brixham & Broadsands

Brixham Breakwater, am:

7 Purple Sandpipers (6 on the jetty with 2 Turnstones, 1 feeding outside of breakwater initially, until joined by at least one other - photos below); 1 Gt N Diver, 1 B-t Diver; 1 Diver sp seen in Torbay from breakwater.

Broadsands, Early pm:

The Red-necked was in  its usual spot in Elberrry Cove, along with a second Gt N Diver (presumably the adult still molting: mottled, yet very dark upper parts; still black on crown & back of neck; full black collar).

Posted November 13th, 2018 at 6:12 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

13/11/18 - Dawlish Warren - Cirl Buntings & Eider

Took the "long-walk" along the sand dunes to reach the hide this morning due to the usual walkway being partially washed away. Four Eider spotted just offshore near Groin 8 + pair of Cirl Buntings showing well on the picket fencing overlooking the creek

[Spoke to a couple of wardens - they say there are no plans to restore the walkway on the top of the dunes - things are apparently being left as they are !!]

Eider Cirl Bunting Cirl Bunting
Eider                                                   Cirl Bunting                                  Cirl Bunting

Posted November 13th, 2018 at 6:00 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding

N. Hallsands.

4 Black Redstarts (2 1st. Yr. m's) around the cottages just behind the beach.Previously this autumn,I have only seen singles. Overhead a constant westward movement of Wood pigeon flocks.(not counted)

Posted November 13th, 2018 at 3:58 pm by Alan K. Searle in General Birding

Middle Soar to Southdown Farm

In these mild conditions an amazing count of 1360 Skylark on winter stubbles, the highest count in recent years. Also 6 Snipe, 60 Stock Dove, 20 Blackbird, 16 Song Thrush, 6 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, 2 Blackcap, 30 Goldfinch, Bullfinch, 160 Linnet, 38 Yellowhammer & 11 Cirl Bunting.

Posted November 13th, 2018 at 3:10 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Dartmoor to Plymouth

From Venford to Hexworthy ~ female Kestrel, nine Golden Plover, Mistle Thrush, three female Reed Bunting, good numbers of Meadow Pipit, a hundred plus Fieldfare with a few Starlings mixed in and a Jay near the Brints forestry commission entrance.

Towards Postbridge twelve Mallard, a very unusually marked pale morph Buzzard, a female GSWP and another Kestrel.

On the lane leading down to Prince Hall 100 plus Chaffinch flock which when checked held no less than seven Brambling.

Another Kestrel near Two Bridges and a large flock of Starlings feeding in a field.


Ford Park Cemetery the most obvious avian item of note was the large number of Magpie's at one point not less than fifteen in one area and I suspect not less than thirty plus overall. Two sightings of female Sparrowhawks one adult one immature, a single Meadow Pipit, Redwing, Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush in small numbers and on leaving the forth kestrel of the morning.




Posted November 13th, 2018 at 2:24 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Teign Estuary

Leucistic oystercatcher and singing Cirl Bunting

Leucistic Oystercatcher
Leucistic Oystercatcher

Posted November 13th, 2018 at 2:03 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in General Birding


About 30 Black-tailed Godwits in amongst 120 Canada Geese on the scrape this morning. In the reserve, plenty of Finches and Tits. A Treecreeper in with the Long-tailed Tits. 8 Gadwall. 1 Chiffchaff. However bird of the day was just outside: The Cattle are now in the field surrounding the reserve on the west side and there in amongst them was a Cattle Egret which flew north and landed just outside the main gate to the reserve. I've been hoping that it would hop over from Braunton Marsh, and I could have predicted it would be today - I didn't have my camera!!!

It joins a good list of Heron species seen in or very close to the reserve: Grey Heron, Little Egret, Great Egret, Night Heron, Purple Heron, Bittern, and Glossy Ibis (well sort of!).

Posted November 13th, 2018 at 2:02 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Clennon Lakes

The Cetti's Warbler was still present this morning also (just) 4 Chiffchaffs, 3 Goldcrest, 16 Gadwall, 3 Snipe, 4 Little Grebes, 11 Tufted Duck, 4 Water Rail and 1 Kingfisher. Overhead approx 450 Wood Pigeons, 25 Chaffinch, 1 Brambling, 2 Siskin, 2 Skylark and 3 Redwing.

Posted November 13th, 2018 at 11:34 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Monday 12th November 2018


Had an altercation with said bird on way to work this morning.Bad timing saw it fly onto dead fox 1/4 mile beyond Abbotsham roundabout north devon towards Clovelly just when a car passed.Seeing that it was in trouble i turned round.When I got to it it was standing but with its head twirling as though stunned.Typically didn't have anything to throw over it i grabbed hold to put in car but it had other intentions and made a big struggle and subsequently sank it's talons into my hand and there is was with a buzzard hanging on with all its strength with a lorry driver behind me wondering what the hell was going on!!!!.Had to literally rip the talons out of my bleeding hand and took to vets.Visually she could see no broken wings so decided to let go and away it flew into nearest trees.Vet cleaned me up and i checked if it was okay and was still there but probably getting over a little concussion so hopefully all is well.Bit different for a  Monday morning!!!.

Posted November 12th, 2018 at 8:47 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

BGM and Exmouth

Not much over the high tide at BGM - Avocet, Pintail, Curlew, Dunlin, Redshank. One Redwing in field by the gate on path to platform. Greylag and Greenshank on Goosemoor. At Exmouth Two Black Redstart best viewed from Shelly Road (near Windward Court). Not much at Mudbank of any note Turnstone near Rockfish cafe.and at the Gore lane Dung heap some Meadow Pipits.

Black Redstart Black Redstart Meadow Pipit
Black Redstart                                   Black Redstart                                        Meadow Pipit

Posted November 12th, 2018 at 3:56 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Otter Estuary- East Devon

From the seafront car park 4 Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin were present in the nearest channels and a couple of Mergansers flew up river at a distance. The cricket pitch attracted the Herring Gull population plus 6 Gt black backed Gulls, while up the valley the flooded fields held c450 Black- headed Gulls and numbers of Curlew.  A Water Rail was heard near West Town Cottages and c10 Fieldfare were seen on the east side of the valley. 

The DB hide above the Otter on the east side has been trashed again and I collected a large bag of rubbish containing an assortment of bottles and other rubbish.

NOTE:  The footpath from Whitebridge to the sea front is closed again for emergency repairs to a culvert so it is not possible to reach the west hide.

Posted November 12th, 2018 at 3:36 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding


Doing WeBs count yesterday, had a lovely Whimbrel in the creek at Sandridge Barton, along with 5 grey herons. Going back to the car, 2 Fieldfares on the leftover grapes.First we've seem this Autumn.

Posted November 12th, 2018 at 9:18 am by Kay and Gary Deare in General Birding

Sunday 11th November 2018


Berry Pomeroy a large flock of Starling headed inland.

Marine Parade, Paignton ~ twenty two Turnstone and twenty four Oyster Catcher, seven Cormorant on the sea.

Following ML's post of yesterday had a look around the Waddaton/Galmpton area, initially a flock of sixty plus Goldfinch, a Little Egret, on a winter cornfield a flock of Chaffinch which included a female Brambling and a male Cirl Bunting, overhead four Mistle Thrush.

Just outside of Galmpton the reported pair of Egyptian Geese in a roadside field close to the field gate.

Off of Broadsands a single Great Crested Grebe.

Back home at South Brent a flock of 40 to 50  Redwing.



Posted November 11th, 2018 at 5:47 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

My first Firecrest of the autumn / winter here, Chiifchaff, 4 Goldcrests, 3 Ring-necked Parakeets (one blue), Snipe, 12 Wigeon, 5 or 6  Greenshanks, Black-tailed Godwit, 41 Curlews and 19 Shelducks.

Posted November 11th, 2018 at 3:27 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Male Teal

Male Teal at Wistlandpound

Male Teal
Male Teal

Posted November 11th, 2018 at 11:36 am by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Saturday 10th November 2018

Exminster Marshes and Dart's farm

Exminster Marshes were alive with Canada geese, wigeon, teal, and starlings. Good numbers of black-tailed godwits, shoveler and pintail present and one cattle egret with the cattle.

Similar at Dart's Farm, but also two green sandpipers at far end of the field to the right of the hide.

Posted November 10th, 2018 at 11:13 pm by Douglas Herdson in General Birding

Brixham Breakwater

Nice to see a few divers from the breakwater at Brixham, at least 5 Great northern divers and a red-throated diver. Also 3 Purple sandpipers.

Great Northern Diver Red-throated Diver
Great Northern Diver                                                          Red-throated Diver

Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper

Posted November 10th, 2018 at 4:50 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding


5 Great Northern Divers and 2 Red-throated Divers this pm also 20 Common Scoter.

Nearby at Waddeton 2 Egyptian Geese, 1 Ad Mediterranean Gull and a flock of 37 Stock Doves.

Egyptian Geese Waddeton 10 Nov 2018 ML

Pair of Egyptian Geese Waddeton

Posted November 10th, 2018 at 2:29 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

The Goosander count this morning.

10 Goosander, 3m (one eclipse), 7f which flew out very early  0630, the males flew out at  0748.

Posted November 10th, 2018 at 2:00 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Veletor. Spoonbill.

Caught up with the two Spoonbill on the scrape at 7am this morning. 

Posted November 10th, 2018 at 9:05 am by Kelvin Irwin in General Birding

Friday 9th November 2018

Bowling Green Marsh

From the hide 0900-0945, c250 Avocet, 3 Knot, 1 Green Sandpiper, the usual shanks and godwits etc., and a Buzzard eating a Lapwing, until the crows took over.

No Coot or Little Grebe, only 1 Tufted, and all the Pintail and Shoveler were on shore: the Otter was present, so I assume it excludes the open-water feeders.

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 3:13 pm by James Camden in General Birding


Battled along the seafront from West Hoe to Laira Bridge in strong wind. Two adult Mediterranean Gulls & 9 Cormorants including 2 sinensis

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 2:47 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Exmouth - Shelley

Black Redstart - at 11am was using the low garage roofs between the sailing club and estuary.

160 Brent Geese in Camperdown Creek - good to see a few juveniles among them after last years' dearth

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 12:54 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding


Pictures from 8th Nov Brixham Breakwater


Eds- please put a name to the birds - Great Northern Diver

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 11:25 am by Barry Rankine in General Birding


Once again two Spoonbills on the scrape as I arrived at about 815. Also maybe 36 Godwits, and lots of Black-headed Gulls. 10 Gadwall in the reserve, and as I left at about 10 the Spoonbills had gone, but I saw a Merlin by the river which raced into the Velator estate.

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 10:27 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Thursday 8th November 2018

Brixham Breakwater 8th Nov

Three Great Northern Divers off Brixham Breakwater one in full summer plumage

Posted November 8th, 2018 at 7:28 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford Strand. 1215-1330.

18 Black-tailed Godwit; 3 Grey Plover; 1 Greenshank; 12 Dunlin; 26 Wigeon and 28 G.B.B.Gull. Plenty of Redshank and Lapwing but still a lack of small waders.

Posted November 8th, 2018 at 6:57 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Exe estuary

Whilst monitoring the refuges in the Exe Estuary this afternoon a few sightings are worth reporting. From north of Exmouth a 2nd W Caspian gull flew towards Exmouth, 11 (possibly 13) great -crested grebes in the main channel and at least 3 pale-bellied brent geese with the main brent flock (just over 1000 including many 1st winter birds).

Posted November 8th, 2018 at 5:39 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Purple Sandpipers Brixham Breakwater

Five Purple Sandpipers Showing Well In The Strong Wind This Afternoon

On The Seaward Side Of The Breakwater, Also Numerous Turnstones,

And Two Seals In The Harbour  Within Twelve Feet Of The Shore!!


Posted November 8th, 2018 at 5:33 pm by patrick hawkins in General Birding

Broadsands & Elberry

Red Throated Diver off of Broadsands beach moving towards Goodrington, also one Seal this afternoon.

Elberry three Great Northern Divers, one Great Crested Grebe and a Red Necked Grebe.



Posted November 8th, 2018 at 5:20 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Goosander at Lower Tamar Lake

3m(2 eclipse) 2f sighted 0655 flew out SSE 0714.

Posted November 8th, 2018 at 1:53 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Velator Quay

10.30am...good views of a male Marsh Harrier over The Sherpa Marsh reedbeds.

Posted November 8th, 2018 at 12:51 pm by Alan Denzey in General Birding


Arrived at the reserve at 08.20 to see 2 Spoonbills out on the scrape No colour rings discernible. 34 Godwits too, and about 100 Black-headed Gulls. A Siskin was with. the Finch flock in the reserve and about 10 Gadwall left when they saw me...

Posted November 8th, 2018 at 9:59 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

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