Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Monday 31st December 2018

Slapton Ley

c300 Black-headed Gulls, Mediterranean Gull and 6 Goldeneyes (3M) Ireland Bay first light. Ring-necked Duck and Otter at Torcross. Off Torcross 2 Red-throated Divers, 30+ rRazorbills and 2 Harbour Porpoises.

Posted December 31st, 2018 at 10:53 am by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 30th December 2018

Slapton Ley

Ring-necked Duck still on ley at Torcross. Also redhead Goosander Stokeley Bay. 7 Goldeneyes including 5 displaying males halfway down Lower Ley. 2 Red-throated Divers off the Memorial Car Park. Brilliant visibility but no scoters seen.

Posted December 30th, 2018 at 11:53 am by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 29th December 2018

Powderham sawmills

A wintering Yellow-browed Warbler for its 13th day at least at Powderham Sawmills. Best viewed from the concrete square in front of Poppy's Flower Studio. Mobile and elusive but favouring sallows in middle of marsh.

Posted December 29th, 2018 at 5:18 pm by Matt Knott in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Charleton Marsh / Bay

Marsh fairly quiet this afternoon, still 1 Tufted Duck. Out in the bay on the falling tide 3 Great Northern Divers and a surprise Whimbrel. Nice flock of c700 Golden Plovers flying around.

Posted December 29th, 2018 at 3:22 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 28th December 2018

Tipton St John

Excellent views of a Yellow-browed Warbler in trees on the bank of the River Otter by the football pitch in the playing fields, called once when chased by a goldcrest. Other birds at Tipton St John included a male Merlin and a Chiffchaff, and a male Black Redstart was on the seafront in Sidmouth.

Posted December 28th, 2018 at 5:37 pm by Mike Crosby in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 27th December 2018


Scanning the bay this evening from Three Beaches Headland on a flat sea I picked up a group of 12 scoter approx 2-2.5 miles away toward Thatcher's Rock, Torquay around the mussel farm buoys. Watching them for 20 mins on full 60x zoom one wing flapped with it's head up, so I suspect the Surf Scoter has relocated (hopefully temporarily). There should be closer view points from Torquay but suspect the flock will still be very distant - will check tomorrow.

Also counted this evening, 3 common Scoter off Three Beaches Headland, Goodrington, 2 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver, 2 Red-necked Grebes, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 4 Great Crested Grebes, 1 ad Mediterranean Gull in Gull roost. 

Posted December 27th, 2018 at 6:38 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Ilfracombe Harbour

Photo of 2 of 4 Purple Sandpipers seen at Ilfracombe this morning..

Posted December 27th, 2018 at 6:34 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Slapton Ley

Ring-necked Duck commuting between Torcross and Ireland Bay. Also male Goldeneye and redhead Goosander in Ireland Bay. Offshore Great Northern Diver south and 2 Red-throated Dive just off the Memorial Car  Park. 3 Common Scoter close in, 4 very distant. Noticeable passage of auks south early morning ( c500 plus per hour ). Of the identified resting auks in the bay  ( c25 ) all Razorbills except one Guillemot. Around at Beesands a Black-throated Diver off the village. The ley is dead just 5 Mallards, 2 Tufted Ducks and 2 Coots. The culvert is blocked, the water the highest since the hide was built ( 1996 ), so maybe it's messed with the water quality.

Posted December 27th, 2018 at 3:10 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


3 Red-necked Grebes from Broadsands this morning all looking like adults also, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 8 Great Crested Grebes,. 2 Great Northern Divers, 2 Red-throated Divers (one with a BTD like flank patch) and 2 Common Scoter (no sign of the surf Scoter this am so keep your eyes on other scoter flocks in S Devon), 30+ Common Dolphin toward Brixham.

Posted December 27th, 2018 at 9:47 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 26th December 2018

Slapton Ley

Ring-necked Duck still on Slapton Ley at Torcross out from the Start Bay Inn.

Posted December 26th, 2018 at 3:26 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 22nd December 2018


Broadsands late this afternoon: 1 Red-necked Grebe (adult), 2 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers. in this evening Gull Roost; 1 Mediterranean Gull, 87 Common Gull $50+ Black-headed Gulls. Looking toward Goodrington; Surf Scoter and 4 Common Scoter, 31 Great Crested Grebes.  

In the Back of the 1st car park the Yellow-browed Warbler called regularly this evening but didn't show.                             

  Red-necked Grebe ad Brdsnds 22 12 18 ML Red-necked Grebe ad Brdsnds 22 12 18 ML Red-necked Grebe ad Brdsnds 22 12 18 ML

                                                                           Red-necked Grebe diving


Posted December 22nd, 2018 at 5:22 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

N. Hallsands.

5 Chiffchaffs, 4 Goldcrests, 1 Firecrest and 2 Blackcaps this morning.

Ad. F. Firecrest.
Ad. F. Firecrest.

Posted December 22nd, 2018 at 1:52 pm by Alan K. Searle in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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