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

Friday 7th December 2018

Berry Head

am. Female Black Redstart in the lighthouse compound. Crossing the meadow a male Merlin sped past at knee height.

Posted December 7th, 2018 at 3:54 pm by John Lusher in General Birding

Filham Park Lake Ivybridge

Nineteen Goosanders All Female On The Lake This Morning, The Most I Have Seen At This Location.

Photo Shows Twelve With Another Seven Out Of Shot!!


Posted December 7th, 2018 at 11:05 am by Patrick Hawkins in General Birding

Siskin Estover , Plymouth

Male Siskin in my garden this morning

Posted December 7th, 2018 at 10:42 am by Peter Castle in General Birding

Estover , Plymouth

3 female and 1 male Siskin on the feeders in my garden this morning.

Posted December 7th, 2018 at 10:30 am by Peter Castle in General Birding

Thursday 6th December 2018

Exe Estuary

This afternoon's Stuart Line cruise again witnessed spectacular numbers of birds, especially in the upper part of the estuary. The Great Northern Diver was still present between Cockwood and Starcross, as were the usual Slavonian Grebe, 2 Little Grebes and 2 immature drake Eiders. The Eiders seemed to be feeding successfully on mussels. A dozen or more Great Crested Grebes and about 20 Red-breasted Mergansers were scattered throughout, but large numbers of Brent Geese and Wigeon were concentrated around Shutterton Creek and off Lympstone, with a hundred or more Pintail at the latter. Over 100 Mallard, c50 Teal and maybe 200 Shelduck completed the ducks. A Harbour (Common) Seal was hauled out on a sandbank off Lympstone Barracks. c100 Common and 2 Lesser Blacked Gulls were amongst large numbers of gulls on the intertidal flats.

The mudbanks at the northern end were covered in hundreds each of Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlin and Redshank. There were perhaps 1000 Lapwings and 500 Golden Plover there too, with about 50 Knot and smaller numbers of Grey Plovers and Bar-tailed Godwits and occasional Greenshank and Ringed Plover. A Sanderling back at Bull Hill sandbank completed a 'full set' of waders!

Posted December 6th, 2018 at 5:59 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Winter visitors in Exeter

First Blackcap of the winter - male on the feeders this afternoon. A Mistle Thrush has taken up residence in our Rowan tree and is busy defending the berries against the local Blackbirds.

Posted December 6th, 2018 at 2:58 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding

Yellow Browed Warbler - Broadsands

Yellow-Browed Warbler still mid morning at Broadsands in back right hand corner of first car park favouring ivy tree , plus 1 Chiffchaff 

Posted December 6th, 2018 at 11:00 am by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Estover , Plymouth

I've had a male and a female Siskin on the feeders in my garden on and off since 9.30 this morning.

Posted December 6th, 2018 at 10:58 am by Peter Castle in General Birding

Wednesday 5th December 2018

Braunton Great Field Barn Owl's

This evening about 7pm we saw TWO Barn Owls in the headlights. Both were sat on posts adjacent to the road close to the thatched linnay. They remained undisturbed as we passed though we were carefully watched by both of them. Very encouraging to see two! 

Posted December 5th, 2018 at 10:29 pm by Phil & Sue Naylor in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Dunlin 175, Black-tailed Godwit 4, Redshank 128, Greenshank 7, Curlew 56, Goosander redhead, Wigeon 17, Little Grebe 7 & Oystercatcher 9.

Posted December 5th, 2018 at 5:44 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Tuesday 4th December 2018

Isley Marsh

Large numbers of birds present in the run-up to high tide this afternoon, the pick being 2 Ruffs, 2 Spoonbills and 65 Pintails.

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 8:17 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

04/12/2018 - RSPB Avocet Cruise

Perfect conditions for the RSPB Avocet Cruise down the River Exe from Topsham.

Highlight was the Grey Heron with a Big Breakfast Eel.

Also Great views of Avocets, Godwits (Black Tailed & Bar Tailed), Mergansers, Turnstone,  Common Gull, Cormorants, Little Egret, Brent Geese, Dunlin, Lapwing, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Teal, Canada Geese, Mute swan.

Distant Views of Grey Plover, Golden Plover

Very Distant view of Peregrine

Grey Heron and Eel Red-breasted Merganser Common Gull
Grey Heron and Eel                    Red-breasted Merganser                              Common Gull

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 7:42 pm by Robin Morrison in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Drake Ring-necked Duck in Ireland Bay, Black-necked Grebe at Torcross, 4 Goldeneyes & a Kingfisher.

Single Pochard on Beesands.

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 6:16 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Holne Bridge, Ashburton a pair of Goosander roosting on a rock below the bridge.

Nr Babeny a female Kestrel (one of three seen) and a couple of Stonechat.

Buzzards dotted about all feeding on the ground or sat on low posts.

The only location found with an abundance of birds was the road leading down to Prince hall near Yelverton, at least six Brambling in with the large flock of Chaffinch feeding on Beech mast, some 30 plus Starling and seven Meadow Pips feeding in a sheep field, a large mixed flock of Redwing and Fieldfare flew in, one GSWP, a Kestrel and two Jay.

Lower side of Soussons flock of 10 Reed Bunting.

At Dartmeet the usual run of the mill birds around the feed station (the car park is now pay and display, £2 for the day).

Near Widdicombe a Sparrowhawk and another followed by a third Kestrel near Dean Prior.


Posted December 4th, 2018 at 5:52 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Slapton Memorial Car Park

From the Car Park saw 17 Common Scoter but could have been more, arrived from the south but flew off out to sea. 

Common Scoter
Common Scoter

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 5:52 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

04/1218 - BGM

Very dull afternoon's veiwing from the hide brightened by sight of a male Sparrowhawk that was watching the feeding ducks before it flew-off down the estuary

Sparrowhawk Sparrowhawk Sparrowhawk

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 5:51 pm by Chris Bollen in General Birding


7 Black-tailed Godwits out on the scrape while I was ringing again this morning.

Only 31 birds ringed today, but that included 4 Chiffchaffs.

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 5:10 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Middle Soar to Southdown Farm

No sign of hoped-for winter raptors but some respectable counts: 6 Buzzard, Red-legged Partridge, 4 Lapwing, 30 Stock Dove, 940 Skylark, 24 Meadow Pipit, 24 Dunnock, 41 Blackbird, 38 Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, 21 Magpie, 320 Starling, 30 Goldfinch, 60 Linnet, 76 Yellowhammer, 16 Cirl Bunting and one Reed Bunting.

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 3:49 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Round up at Arlington.

2 water rail, 1grey wagtail, 1dipper,1treecreeper,4nuthatch,4 goldcrest, coal tit, marsh tit, long tailed tit g s Woodpecker mistle thrush, thrush and all the locals looking fine, primroses in the woodland today. 

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 3:23 pm by John Elvin in General Birding

Radford Lake, Plymouth

At low tide this morning there was a group of at least 19 little grebes on Radford Lake. 

Posted December 4th, 2018 at 2:49 pm by Martin Lavelle in General Birding

Monday 3rd December 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Fifteen Wigeon, Goosander (redhead), 5 Little Grebes, 2 Kingfishers, 18 Turnstones, 3 Shags, 54 Curlews, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 9 Oystercatchers, 7 Greenshanks & 2 Ring-necked Parakeets.

Posted December 3rd, 2018 at 8:06 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

West Charleton Marsh - 3.12.2018

Wet, windy and a day for ducks at West Charleton Marsh today! Over 150 on the scrape alone. c100 Teal, c50 Wigeon, 6 Mallard, 2 Shelduck and a lone Pintail. Also Cormorant, 2 Greylag geese, 1 Dark Bellied Goose, 4 Little Egret, Heron, Curlew and a Pheasant. Elsewhere a flock of c40 Golden Plover flew over a neighbouring field towards the Estuary . By the feeders a Water Rail showed well. On the rough estuary most of the birds were sheltering, but another 6 D/B Brent Geese were braving the waves and a flock of 23 Oystercatchers and a few more Curlew and Shelduck were sheltering behind rocks. Over 30 species recorded.

Water Rail - West Charleton Marsh - 03-12-2018
Water Rail - West Charleton Marsh - 03-12-2018

Posted December 3rd, 2018 at 6:22 pm by Dave Pakes in General Birding


Very brief visit produced highlights of two Great Northern Diver off Broadsands beach, Red-necked Grebe in Elberry Cove and usual flock of Cirls Bunting in the car park by the feeding spot.

Posted December 3rd, 2018 at 4:59 pm by Matt Collis in General Birding

Sunday 2nd December 2018

Shoalstone, am.

Black Guillemot  (in moult: white face & nape; black crown & upper parts; reared  up once to show black belly roughly circled with thick white band) on water towards Berry Head. Only other birds of note: a Gt Skua, >S to land in mouth of Torbay; diver sp > S (sorry too far to ID).

Posted December 2nd, 2018 at 4:59 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Slapton Grebe

A red necked grebe on Slapton Ley just off the pond dipping platform on the way around to Ireland bay

Red-necked Grebe Red-necked Grebe
Red-necked Grebe

Posted December 2nd, 2018 at 3:06 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Black Redstart at Ford Park Cemetery in the on line Guardian news paper

A piece in the on-line Guardian news paper on the 01-12-18, about the Black Redstart in Ford Park Cemetery. If anyone wishes to view this please follow the link.…/…/country-diary+birds

Posted December 2nd, 2018 at 2:17 pm by greg bradbury in General Birding

Plym Estuary, Sat 1st Dec

Half-a-dozen Cormorants included a sinensis, 4 Shags, redhead Goosander, 5 Little Grebes, 152 Redshanks, 153 Dunlins, 6 Greenshanks, 53 Curlews, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 8 Oystercatchers, 30 Shelducks, 17 Wigeon, 2+ Ring-necked Parakets & a Chiffchaff. 

Posted December 2nd, 2018 at 12:01 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Saturday 1st December 2018

Lower Tamar Lake

18 Goosander 8m 10f,  at the Hide 3 Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, Car Park, 2 Willow Tit, 3 Goldfinch, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, plus Wigeon, Teal, Tufted, Great Crested Grebes, Shoveler, Coot, Moorhen and a Mute Swan.

Posted December 1st, 2018 at 2:17 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding


Female Marsh Harrier seen at 10.30am, flew over R Caen into the strong drizzly breeze.

Posted December 1st, 2018 at 1:29 pm by Alan Denzey in General Birding

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