Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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


If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help us 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 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

Saturday 14th April 2018

Braunton, N.Devon

At 12.50 while out in the driveway the Herring Gulls started making a fuss again & I looked up & an Osprey went over the top of the garden approx.200 metres up heading north being mobbed by the gulls.

Common Whitethroat near the White House early this morning.

Posted April 14th, 2018 at 1:31 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sharpa scrape

96 Black tailed Godwits busy refuelling before migrating to their breeding grounds. 6 Teal still on the scrape.

Posted April 14th, 2018 at 12:00 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

First Cuckoo of year - for me

Saw my first Cuckoo of the year fly over the Peter Tavy to B3357 road near Sowton Town. It was flying towards Cox Tor (Where I had just spent 2 hours looking for one). Spring is definitely here. Lots of Wheatears, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks on the moor surrounding Cox Tor. 

Posted April 14th, 2018 at 9:55 am by Robin Stanbridge in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 12th April 2018

Osprey on the Taw

The Osprey was fishing on the River Taw between Chivenor and Fremington yesterday afternoon (14:35) and again this morning (09:20). Being mobbed by gulls before flying off back over Braunton towards West Down direction.
(Record shot attached)

Posted April 12th, 2018 at 10:55 am by Sam Aston in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Mealy Redpoll, Soar

Yesterday morning Ian Teague and I found a Redpoll at Soar. Having plenty of red on the underparts, it was clearly a Lesser or Mealy. We considered the latter but, at the time, concluded it was a Lesser and I posted this amongst other sightings last night. However, I began to have some doubts and after checking my photos and literature, taking advice and re-discussing it with Ian, now feel it is a Mealy Redpoll

Photos attached showing the main features, although we didn't see the under-tail covets. The bird's tail was missing. 

I appreciate how rare Common Redpoll is in Devon, so apologies to local birders for not having sorted this out at the time and therefore not getting the news out earlier. The bird was on the cliff top path in gorse, opposite the gate south of Mid Soar House.

Having said all this, I'm aware - from my Shetland trips - how difficult the Redpoll group is to identify, so any informed views on this bird would be welcome.


Posted April 12th, 2018 at 8:53 am by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 9th April 2018

Tarka trail - Braunton to Barnstaple

108 Black tailed Godwits on Sharpa / Wrafton scrape.

9 Blackcaps & 11 Chiffchaffs heard singing along the sides of the trail. 1 Common Sandpiper at the mouth of R.Yeo near the Barnstaple Civic centre. 2 Greenshank in the corner by the Braunton Inn.

Posted April 9th, 2018 at 12:02 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 8th April 2018

Horsey Island

18.30 - 18.45 - 104 Black tailed Godwits on Horsey, 3 Knot, 35 Redshank, 9 Ringed Plover & 6 Dunlin

Posted April 8th, 2018 at 7:22 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Heathfield Starling Roost - PS

Bumped into John Avon today at Slapton.  He reported seeing Starlings regularly at dusk over Bickington (between Ashburton and Heathfield) during December 2017 and clearly heading for the Heathfield roost (5Km).  This confirms my sightings at the roost from 21st February 2018 and suggest that some birds, at least, were coming from this direction throughout the winter (Dec-March).  My guess is that birds reported coming in from the Haytor/Bovey Tracey area before my own observations had originally come from the Ashburton direction and first went to a pre-roost site in the Bovey Tracey area as was noted during February/March.  This is typical behaviour and it's good to get corroboration of the flight line from the Ashburton direction.  They regularly passed over a knoll in the landscape at Bickington and dropped into fields to feed prior to heading for the roost.  This is also on a line from Buckfastleigh and possibly South Brent.  However, my guess is that they were feeding during the day in the area bounded by the A38, A384, A381 and A383 as previously suggested.

Posted April 8th, 2018 at 6:37 pm by Dennis Elphick in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Beesands Ley

Ring-necked Duck and Scaup still present. Also 2 Great Crested Grebes, 63 Tufted Ducks, 5 Gadwall and an Otter.

Posted April 8th, 2018 at 12:28 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sharpa / Wrafton scrape + Braunton

85 Black tailed Godwits on the scrape early am.

When I got home the Herring Gulls making a fuss again - 2 Common Buzzards circling around in the thermals.

Posted April 8th, 2018 at 11:24 am by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Older Posts in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts →

← Newer Posts in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts