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  Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug 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
Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May  


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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Wednesday 28th February 2018

Ludwell Valley Park, Exeter

1 Hawfinch, 3 Green sandpipers, 7 Grey wagtails and 4 Chiffchaffs this lunchtime.

Posted February 28th, 2018 at 11:04 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 27th February 2018

M5 Tiverton Junction

1 Red kite feeding over stubble field on west side of the M5 about 2 miles south of the N Devon link road junction at 3.15pm

Posted February 27th, 2018 at 6:07 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

RSPB Exminster & Matford

The American Wigeon still present at Matford and Pink-footed Goose at Exminster Marshes.

Pink-footed Goose  American Wigeon
Pink-footed Goose                                   American Wigeon

Posted February 27th, 2018 at 12:43 pm by david cawthraw in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Heathfield Starlings

Further to my previous post, I have visited the site twice more (24th & 26th Feb) when I estimated 15-20,000.  There were certainly fewer than the 20-25,000 (and possibly more) on my first visit (21st) and an observer on 24th suggested numbers had declined by some 50% from a fortnight earlier.  This suggests that many birds were aware of the severe weather (high pressure) coming out of Siberia and Russia, now resulting in freezing temperatures and the snow being experienced in eastern UK, and moved ahead of it to more clement climes in Cornwall, maritime France or even Iberia although the forecast suggests a lot of snow moving north from Iberia later this week.  It will be interesting to see if this roost declines further over the next week as temperatures plummet further and the ground becomes too frozen to feed.   Presumably their return to breeding grounds in N Europe/Russia, The Baltic and Scandinavia will be delayed bearing in mind the severe weather currently being experienced across their breeding range.

Also, it seemed that birds are probably not just coming to the roost from the Dartmoor direction.  Estimates of flocks joining the throng from that direction were insufficient to make up the total flock circling over the roost area for at least half an hour before entering the roost.

Posted February 27th, 2018 at 10:12 am by Dennis Elphick in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 26th February 2018


I did not realise how rare Great White Egrets were in the UK (N. Devon). I first spotted it Feb 2017 and several times throughout the year. It has been seen hanging out with the local herons up in the canopy.  First spotted this year at the end of January (2018).  Not a particularly good photo, taken from a long distance with a compact with long range zoom. You can see all the identifying features even its eye colour.

Colin West

GW EGRET Arlington N Devon Colin West

Posted February 26th, 2018 at 11:50 pm by Rapids Jonson in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 25th February 2018

Exminster Marshes

The Pink-footed goose was with Canada Geese near the Lions Reat estate, north of the access road after 5pm today. A lot lot closer than yesterday’s view at Powderham.

Posted February 25th, 2018 at 8:44 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Hawfinch yesterday

Yesterday (24th) my wife and I were attending a birthday function at Gypsy Hill Hotel at Pinhoe near Exeter and a Hawfinch flew over the car park and appeared to go into a large conifer near the reception entrance. Not seen again. This was approx.1230. Do look like attractive grounds for Hawfinch in fact.

Posted February 25th, 2018 at 10:53 am by Perry J Smale in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 24th February 2018

Teign Grace

Two Cattle Egrets (and 1 Little Egret) seen from the cycle track at Teigngrace today by Ian Butt.

Cattle Egrets and 1 Little Teigngrace 240218 I Butt

Posted February 24th, 2018 at 9:51 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bratton Fleming

Red Kite low over fields at 14.30 where road from BF meets A399.

Posted February 24th, 2018 at 8:17 pm by Emzi Frater & Lowell Mills in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 23rd February 2018

Sherpa / Wrafton scrape + Braunton Marshes & Great field

2 Water Pipits searching for food around the frozen scrape this morning.

Circular route on the bike around Braunton Marshes & Great field revealed a large flock of 300 Chaffinch + a further 50 further on.

1 male Kestrel feeding on a prey item on the ground & 65 Redwing also searching for food on the ground (no berries left on the hawthorn bushes) in one field.

Posted February 23rd, 2018 at 11:49 am by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 22nd February 2018

South Brent ~ Bramblings

Three Brambling around the garden feed station today, initially a male followed by two females this afternoon.

Other species included, Pied Wagtail, GSWP, Nuthatch, 6 Greenfinch, 30+ Chaffinch, 10+ Goldfinch, pair of Bullfinch, male Siskin,Song Thrush, Rook and 3 Dunnock.

Several Buzzards up soaring and displaying despite the cold conditions.




Posted February 22nd, 2018 at 6:43 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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