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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Tuesday 13th February 2018

Ludwell Valley Park, Exeter

One Hawfinch at lunchtime in the hedge bordering the annual flower meadow.

Posted February 13th, 2018 at 8:28 pm by Martin Elcoate in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Brixham Harbour

Froze in the wind and showers this afternoon for 45 mins looking for the adult glaucous gull that has been about.  Finally rewarded - but with a 1st winter gull that cruised about for a few minutes before heading further out again.  I think I had some distant views of the adult too - interesting to see if anyone else saw them both today. 


Posted February 13th, 2018 at 4:23 pm by Alistair King in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Beesands Ley

Ring-necked Duck and Scaup still present.

Posted February 13th, 2018 at 2:09 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 11th February 2018

Prawle point

Probable 1st winter glaucous gull on the reefs just east of Prawle point near Langerstone point. V poor camera phone pic attached, thoughts from others with better Larus ID than me welcome if discernable from pic. Bird was large with heavy bill pale pink with black tip and pink legs. Almost completely white otherwise, other than very faintly discernable greyer back

Eds: Your description and photos (very big bill indeed) all fit Glaucous gull perfectly but if there was grey on the 'back' (which can't be seen in the photo) a 2nd w rather than 1st w. Also tip of bill pale.


Posted February 11th, 2018 at 8:57 pm by Henry Trollope in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Powderham and Exmouth

Powderham Corner

The 2 Snow Geese of questionable origin were on display (appropriately) in the snow mid afternoon. Viewable from the cycle bridge. Are these the same 2 that were at Maer Lake, St Ives, Cornwall last November?

Exmouth quay

A brief flyby from the Bonaparte’s Gull late afternoon. It headed around to Shelley Beach. A very quick look there was fruitless.

more details

Posted February 11th, 2018 at 8:48 pm by Spencer Dicks in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Hawfinches Dartington Estate

8-9 Hawfinch flew from wooded area of Park School gardens towards Dartington Gardens at 13:30. Viewed from concrete drive leading to the river.

Posted February 11th, 2018 at 3:48 pm by Jacob Wood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Brixham Glaucous Gull

An early start to look for the Glaucous Gull at Brixham Fish Market proved fruitful, and luck was on my side with the weather. After standing in the pouring rain for a while the sun eventually took pity on me and came out for a few moments, giving me the photo opportunity I needed. Size comparison to some Great Black-backed Gulls near it showed me just how big this gull is.

Glaucous Gull 

Posted February 11th, 2018 at 3:31 pm by Steph Murphy in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Beesands Ley

Ring-necked Duck and Scaup still present

Posted February 11th, 2018 at 2:54 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Victoria Park, Paignton

Yellow-browed Warbler flitting between the trees around the pond in the little small section of the park just off Garfield Rd, behind Lidl carpark.

A nice surprise! 

Posted February 11th, 2018 at 2:47 pm by George Wall in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Grey wagtail

Sunday 11 February  -   grey wagtail in our garden (in the company of one of our resident robins), first I have seen here for quite a few years  (Bovey Tracey)  

Posted February 11th, 2018 at 1:58 pm by Saf Pugsley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 10th February 2018

Topsham Cemetery

1 male Hawfinch showed briefly at 11am at the water tower end of the cemetery, despite the rain showers.

Posted February 10th, 2018 at 10:03 pm by Lowell Mills in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 9th February 2018


The 'monster' of an adult Glaucous Gull was on the roof of the fish market late this afternoon. It does look like the bird that has been around for some time, as on closer views there are feathers missing from the secondaries.

Glaucous Gull ad 9th Feb 2018 ML

Video link:  

Posted February 9th, 2018 at 6:34 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 8th February 2018


The Bay was busy with 650+ Gannets this morning feeding over 40 + Common Dolphin and several Harbour Porpoise nearby. Around the beaches:  4 Black-necked Grebes, 34 Great Crested Grebes, 7 Great Northern Divers, 5 Red-throated Divers, 6 Common Scoter and 80+ auks. 

At Broadsands: 1 Firecrest, 3 Goldcrest and 2 Chiffchaffs in the marsh and 18 Cirl Buntings and 3 Reed Bunting on seed in the 2nd car park. 

Posted February 8th, 2018 at 1:57 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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