General Birding

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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Friday 14th December 2018

Mistle Thrushes return

It's great to see the Mistle Thrushes and hear their calls in the centre of Newton Abbot. They are currently eating Yew Berries in the Devon Square churchyard.

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 8:22 pm by David @ The Hall of Einar in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Three Firecrests, 9 Snipe, Jack Snipe, Kingfisher, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Goosanders (drake & redhead), 4 Shags, 9 Turnstones, c185 Dunlins, 7 Greenshanks, 8 Wigeons, 2 Bullfinches, 7 Ring-necked Parakeets (1 blue) & a Chiffchaff.

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 7:59 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Arlington court

A mid morning walk around Arlington court today saw small flocks of fieldfare and red wing mixed,  several small flocks of starlings over the upper fields, in the woods nuthatch,  blue great and coal tits. 

Nuthatch    Redwing
Nuthatch                                              Redwing

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 7:58 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Tamar Lakes

Upper Lake this morning.

1 Merlin, 1m Goosander, 1 Brent Goose.

Lower Lake,
21 Goosander 5m 16f, 3 Willow Tit, 1 Great Spotted Woodpeker, 6 Tufted Duck, 1 Tawny Owl, 4 Gadwall, 24 Shoveler, 12 Wigeon, 1 Nuthatch, 3 Grey Heron, 2 Cormorant, c100 Lapwing, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Reed Bunting 1m 1f,  c50 Coot, 1 Marsh Tit, 1 Greenfinch, 9 Blue Tit, 6 Chaffinch, 8 Coal Tit, 2 Great Tit, 8 Moorhen, c60 Mallard, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 8 Starling, 2 Robin.

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 7:11 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford 12.10 - 13.15 (High Tide 10:12)

Goosander 3 (1M,2Redheads); Grey Plover 15; Black-tailed Godwit 24; Bar-tailed Godwit 2; Dunlin c60; Wigeon 7;      Greenshank 1.

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 7:09 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Anchorwood Bank

Early afternoon along the Tarka Trail at Anchorwood Bank - 4 female + 2 male goosanders, 1 grey plover, 50+ curlew, 1 greenshank, 1 kingfisher, 3 little egret, lots of redshank, lapwing, shelduck, cormorant.

GoosanderGoosander, little egret, mallardGoosanders
Goosander        Goosander, little egret, mallard        Goosanders

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 7:07 pm by Colin Dracott in General Birding

Blaxton Meadow (Plymouth) events

National Trust birding events at Blaxton Meadow, Plymouth, start on Monday. Volunteers will be on hand to point out birds. Come & see a variety of species visting the marsh since disturbance has been minimised.

Details on photo here.

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 7:03 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Baggy point

am & very cold in the SE wind.

25 fem Common Scoter at Baggy Pt,  no sign of the one male seen with the flock last time. 4 Eider still present + 2 Gannets.

I was surprised they were still in the same location as last week after the severe westerly gales during last weekend. No protection from westerly gales at Baggy Point.

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 6:11 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Woodbury Castle, East Devon

Flock of c100 Chaffinch mobile around the fort which included a small number of Brambling- counted six before they all took off due to dog walkers.

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 4:05 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Middle Soar to Southdown Farm

Another record count for Yellowhammer at this site with 141 recorded today. Also a site record count of 79 Cirl Bunting - now all we need is more winter stubbles in South Devon!! Also: 1240 Skylark, Lapwing, 4 Snipe, 27 Meadow Pipit, 39 Song Thrush in the open fields & hedgerows, 50 House Sparrow, 80 Linnet, Bullfinch & 5 Reed Bunting.

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 3:53 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Little Gull

Little Gull feeding with large flock of gulls between Dawlish and Dawlish Warren

Posted December 14th, 2018 at 2:57 pm by Nick Workman in General Birding

Thursday 13th December 2018

Fremington Quay

Solitary swallow flying low along the estuary towards Barnstaple at 8.45 am. 

Posted December 13th, 2018 at 9:55 pm by Paul Bearman in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

1 Slavonian Grebe with two Little Grebes.

Posted December 13th, 2018 at 9:14 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Matford Marsh

Pair of Gadwall briefly only highlight on a bitter day.


Posted December 13th, 2018 at 7:16 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding


Great Egret, sparrowhawk, jays, gs woodpecker, 4 mistle thrush, 6 song thrushes, flock of over 100,mainly fieldfare and some redwing, good amounts of all local woodland birds and a bout 30 starlings. By 3pm it was bitterly cold. 

Posted December 13th, 2018 at 3:55 pm by John Elvin in General Birding

Filham Park Lake Ivybridge

On Checking The Lake At 13.30 This Afternoon I Counted Twenty Six Goosanders. Twenty Females & Six Males....Numbers Are Increasing!!

Posted December 13th, 2018 at 3:14 pm by patrick hawkins in General Birding

Tuesday 11th December 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Two Firecrests, 7 Ring-necked Parakeets (1 blue), 20 Redwings, 2 Bullfinches, Kingfisher, Common Sandpiper, 6 Goosanders, 9 Mandarin Ducks, 15 Wigeon, 2 or 3 Shags, 56 Curlews, 156 Redshanks, 4 Black-tailed Godwits & 7 Greenshanks.

Posted December 11th, 2018 at 8:01 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Barnstaple to Braunton.

4 chiffchaff, 1cettis,6 common snipe, 1 kingfisher, 5 song thrushes, 8 redwing, small flock of goldfinch andLt tits, stonechat and on the estuary large flocks of lapwing and golden plover. About 8 grey plover, 1greenshank, bt godwits about 20.Stopped at Heanton Court cfor a coffee and warm up, lovely day. 

Posted December 11th, 2018 at 7:19 pm by John Elvin in General Birding

Male Hen Harrier near Two Bridges

Had excellent views at 3.30pm today, of a male Hen Harrier, which flew low over the B3357 near Mel Tor car park east of Two Bridges, Dartmoor. It was so low that it twisted in flight as it flew over the road, to avoid the car! It then flew away to the north, presumably to roost as it was headed towards Warren House.

Posted December 11th, 2018 at 5:55 pm by Nick D'Agorne in General Birding


Two singing robin along Four Mills Lane. Small flock of goldfinches in Bullmarsh Field (SX 83402 99140). Two little egrets among the gulls in field other side of River Yeo from footpath (SX 83052 98875). Brambling near Backs Barn at top of Breakheart Hill (SX 82707 99417). About 20 ground-feeding redwing at bottom of Cradle Fields (SX 82450 99785) on walk back to Tin Pot Lane.

Posted December 11th, 2018 at 5:34 pm by Andrew Head in General Birding

Possible Little Gull Mudbank

Seen briefly around 11.30 am from the Mudbank screens flew down river past the screen turned and flew up towards Lympstone where i lost it in the background. Distant view but looked right (80% sure).

Posted December 11th, 2018 at 2:20 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Monday 10th December 2018

Broadsands to the Ex.

Early at Broadsands this morning, managed chiffchaff, Siberian chiff chaff and the Yellow-browed warbler, (with a bit of help from Mike at first). At Holden forest there were both Marshfield Crossbills in the quarry At the back of the office's. Into the Ex. at Turf locks we got Golden plover and a Red-breasted Meganser. On the way home stopped of at Cockwood and were lucky enough to see the Slavonian Grebe with a Great Crested Grebe. 65 species in all today. A very good day.

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 11:43 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in General Birding


Waders and Ducks on the River Taw.

Curlew                Eurasian Wigeon
Curlew                                                 Eurasian Wigeon

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 10:31 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding



Lapwing on the River Taw near Ashford   Grey Plover on the River Taw near Ashford  Red Shank on the River Taw near Ashford
Lapwing on the River Taw near Ashford                  Grey Plover              Red Shank on the River 

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 10:26 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Red Kites

12 Red Kites seen near Heasley Mill, North devon. A mixture of adult and juvenile birds. One appears to have a ring.

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 9:13 pm by Jeremy Hickman in General Birding

South Hams Reserves - 10.12.2018

Nothing new at South Huish Marsh, where a male Stonechat and a couple of Meadow Pipits were the highlights. On to South Milton Ley to top up the feeders by the viewing screen. The hard working Alan Pomroy was again present, ringing assorted birds. Last time on 3/12 he had a Water Rail to show me. Today he was ringing a Redwing, as I arrived. Lovely to see these birds so close, and an opportunity to try out a new camera! At the viewing screen highlights were a Greater Spotted Woodpecker, a Water Rail, 3 Bullfinch and a couple of Chaffinch, with the tits. On to West Charleton Marsh, where despite it being low tide several ducks were still on the scrape, along with 2 Greylag Geese, probably the same ones that spent a couple of days at S.Huish. Also saw a Water Rail, Kingfisher, male Blackcap, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail and 4 more Redwing amongst other birds. Light was poor, but could make out a number of Dark Bellied Geese and a lot more ducks out on the estuary. When I left, about 15.30, several flocks of Teal were flying from the estuary to join others on the scrape 

Redwing rung by Alan Pomroy -South Milton Ley - 10.12.2018          Greylag Goose and ducks - West Charleton Marsh- 10.12.2018
Redwing rung by Alan Pomroy -South Milton Ley   Greylag Goose and ducks - West Charleton Marsh

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 7:15 pm by Dave Pakes in General Birding


Ringing in the reserve had a good start with an adult Redwing, and finished on a high with a smart adult female Sparrowhawk. Sadly not much in between, a quiet session with only 19 birds ringed. Goldcrest, Song Thrush and Reed Bunting the pick of the rest, although a ringed  female Chaffinch was ringed in early November in Berrynarbor by Chris Dee.

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 6:29 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


firecrest seen in the garden a couple of times this morning.


Posted December 10th, 2018 at 5:29 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Slapton and Beesands

Wildfowl highlights on the ley included Greylag Goose ( on a brief sojourn from Beesands I think ), fcy fem Scaup ( probably the one that has been at Beesands, ) the Ring-necked Duck and 4 Goldeneyes ( 1 male ). Also 5 Little Grebes. Offshore 50 Common Scoters ( 2 males ), 4 Great Northern Divers ( 2 flying south ), Black-throated Diver ( distant ), Red-necked Grebe and 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese which eventually flew north. An otter put in an appearance halfway down the Lower Ley.

Around at Beesands the aforementioned Greylag Goose a couple Little Grebes and little else.

On a negative note just no Pochards seen today and on a clam sea with good visibility not a single auk.

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 5:17 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Northbrook to Matford Marsh, Exeter

Green Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail, Dipper and Water Rail on the Northbrook (never managed a picture of Water Rail here before). Also Jay (Northbrook Golf Course). 15 Blackwit on the University playing fields. Little grebe near Salmon Pool. Matford Marsh - Chiffchaff, Buzzard, Shoveller etc also a decent amount of Wigeon but with failing light and only my bins I couldn't pick out anything yankee!

Green Sandpiper Water Rail Chiffchafff
Green Sandpiper                             Water Rail                     Chiffchafff

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 5:06 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Broadsands & Elbury Cove

Visit mid morning. Surf Scotor 1st wint, viewable towards Goodrington with 5 Common Scotor. Red-necked Grebe, 2 Black-necked Grebes, a third small Grebe but too far to ID, 1 Red-throated Diver & 7 Great Northern Duvers. 

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 4:38 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Soar Mill Valley & Southdown Farm

Undoubted highlight of the morning was a superb view of a Corn Bunting perched out in the open with a Song Thrush & Yellowhammer. Another highlight was 131 Yellowhammer, as far as I can tell a record count for the area. Also: Sparrowhawk, 29 Meadow Pipit, 29 Blackbird, 11 Song Thrush, 2 Snipe, wintering male Blackcap, male Bullfinch, 90 Linnet, 9 Cirl Bunting & 10 Reed Bunting.

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 3:49 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford. 1115 - 1300

Knot 5; Redshank 83; Grey Plover 7; Shelduck 2; Dunlin c140; Sanderling 6; Dark-bellied Brent Goose 168; Black-tailed Godwit 39; Wigeon 14; plus a flock of c200 Golden Plover (best count so far c1500 4/12/18)

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 2:20 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding


  One  Firecrest seen in the garden a couple of times this morning.

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 1:39 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Ivybridge, Filham Park

A personal patch record of 20 Goosanders on Filham Park fishing lake this morning.

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 12:41 pm by R Teague in General Birding

Teign Estuary

Female Goldeneye in the channel off Passage House car park this morning.

Posted December 10th, 2018 at 12:14 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

Sunday 9th December 2018


Just to add to Mike's earlier posting; Red-necked Grebe in Elberry Cove again late am, out towards oyster beds in loose company with the Black-necked Grebe.

Posted December 9th, 2018 at 7:31 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Yelland Quay avocet

At 3.15pm on a walk along the coast path heading east from Yelland Quay we found a lone avocet on the rising tide.The last time we saw one anywhere near here was in March 2018 on the River Caen - again a singleton.


Posted December 9th, 2018 at 4:48 pm by Colin Dracott in General Birding


A single Mediterranean Gull in with a flock of 40 plus Black Headed Gulls at Marine Parade, Paignton this morning, also seen were 28 Turnstone, a Little Egret, five plus Oyster Catcher, GBBG, out on the sea four Common Scoter, a Great Crested Grebe, several Gannet and Cormorant.


Posted December 9th, 2018 at 4:33 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Occombe, Paignton

Kate Bush sang December Will Be Magic Again, well it was certainly true of Occombe this morning:
From the bird hide: Dunnock, 3 Blue Tits, 5 Great Tits, 2 Robin, but the highlights were 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers on the tree immediately in front of the hide. I've never known any woodpecker to remain in one place as long as these two. Then a Sparrowhawk flew in, turned around mid flight right in front of me, what a fantastic sight that was displaying all it's flight feathers caught in the sunlight.

Elsewhere there were many more Great Tits and Blue Tits that I lost count, a sizable flock of Long-tailed Tits, a bird I haven;t encountered at Occombe since the March storms - a Goldcrest. For my 2nd consecutive visit a Treecreeper, Buzzard, 4 Song Thrushes, male Bullfinch, at least 3 Greenfinches, and a minimum of 5 Chaffinches, 6 Blackbirds, a further 3 Robins, a Wren, and 2 female and a male Pheasant.

Posted December 9th, 2018 at 11:43 am by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Saturday 8th December 2018

Lower Tamar Lake

The total Goosander count was 14 6m 8f, I think I put 16 in my blog.

Posted December 8th, 2018 at 9:29 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

The monthly dawn Goosander count.

14 Goosander 6m 8f present at 0730, all had flown by 0830.

Posted December 8th, 2018 at 9:23 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding


Great Northern diver feeding in river mouth opposite the Ness this lunchtime.

Posted December 8th, 2018 at 7:56 pm by John Phillips in General Birding

Unusual birds in garden Plymouth

Not the nicest of days but the garden feeders been busy, among the visitors a unusual Blackbird and in the Devon hedge at bottom of garden this White Goldfinch . Our garden backs on the Parkway at Eggbuckland unfortunately not great of pic of Goldfinch.

BlackbirdGoldfinchesand another
Blackbird                                                 Goldfinches                                 and another

Posted December 8th, 2018 at 3:37 pm by William Beck in General Birding

Mountwise, Plymouth

A Male Black Redstart at 1300 on the east side of Mountwise above Richmond walk. 

Posted December 8th, 2018 at 1:21 pm by neil moore in General Birding

Stover Lake

At Stover before dawn (07:15) for a coordinated Goosander count: 4 present (1 drake). Also 5 Cormorants had roosted overnight in trees. Water Rail called, then Cetti's Warbler called near hide (good views later). Usual Siskins, Green and G S Woodpeckers, and Song Thrush getting into song. (I was surprised to hear two Goldcrests singing in Chudleigh yesterday, in less than lovely weather.) Also 18 Tufted Ducks and maybe 100 Mallard in total.

Posted December 8th, 2018 at 9:56 am by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

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