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


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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

Monday 7th May 2018

Slapton Ley

Fairly quiet except for 6 Common Sandpipers between the Bridge and Ireland Bay. Also a Whimbrel on the beach and 2 Sandwich Terns offshore.

Posted May 7th, 2018 at 8:40 am by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 6th May 2018

West Charleton

Just seen a Red Kite over a rape field just south of the village

Posted May 6th, 2018 at 4:08 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 5th May 2018

Red Kite

Woodleigh area 9am hung around for a couple of hours. 

Posted May 5th, 2018 at 9:51 am by Colin Mills in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 4th May 2018


A quick look around Topsham rec at around 4:30pm. The Bonaparte’s Gull was showing beautifully. Also of note 2 Black Swans

if interested. More info at

Posted May 4th, 2018 at 8:37 pm by Spencer Dicks in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head & South Brent

A morning visit to Berry Head ~ six Whitethroat, three Wheatear, Willow Warbler, Wren, numerous Fulmar and Guillemot, Oyster Catcher, Shell duck, Gannet, Manx Shearwater, Kittiwake, Great Black Back Gull, a few Swallow, an active pod of Harbour Porpoise.

Surprised to see a Fulmar land on the cliff face and flush a bright yellow Budgie from the cliff, it flew off towards the quarry.

Owley Moorgate, Ugborough Beacon, near South Brent this afternoon, two Cuckoo and three Great Black Back Gulls that had been feeding on a sheep carcass.


Posted May 4th, 2018 at 7:03 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Start Point

Down at the light this morning Blackcap, 2 Whitethroats, 7 Chiffchaffs and 2 Willow Warblers. Yellow Wagtail overhead and 9 scattered Wheatears. Whimbrel and strangely a pair of Gadwall flew north off the Point. Also off the Point 8 Common Dolphins and 2 Harbour Porpoises.

Posted May 4th, 2018 at 6:07 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 3rd May 2018

South Huish

The reported Pectoral Sandpiper  showing well if a bit distantly at South Huish this morning moving between the right hand corner of the marsh and out to the field behind the marsh where it was flying and feeding with 22 Whimbrel and a summer plumage Godwit.

In the right hand reed bed Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler and male Reed Bunting, a few Swallows and House Martins over the marsh.

On the way in a notable hatch of Hawthorn flies over some of the hedgerows and two very prominent Whitethroat's taking advantage hawking insects as they came within reach.

A female Kestrel flew along the shoreline.

Posted May 3rd, 2018 at 9:32 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Huish Marsh & East Soar

Pectoral Sandpiper showing really well at the front of the marsh. Also 20 Whimbrel.

At East Soar: 4 Wheatear, singing Garden Warbler, 2 singing Willow Warblers - GW & WW no longer breed regularly!

Non-avian: First Wall Brown; 5 Roe Deer.

Posted May 3rd, 2018 at 2:02 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 2nd May 2018

Berry Head

Seawatch 06.15 - 09.45 in persistent heavy rain until the last hour when winds went WNW & it cleared up: 2 Pomarine Skuas complete with “spoons”, 10 Puffins including several sitting on the sea quite close in, 25 Sandwich Terns (all but 1 in a single flock), Bonxie, 15 “Commic” Terns, 2 Whimbrels, 95 Kittiwakes, 2160 Manx Shearwaters, c20 Fulmars & a Harbour Porpoise.

On the land: 2 Wheatears, 3+ Sedge Warblers, 2 Willow Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs & 4 Blackcaps.

Posted May 2nd, 2018 at 5:35 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Start Bay

Seawatch from the Memorial Car Park along Torcross line from 08:30-09:45.

Good nos. of Manx Shearwaters at a rate of around 1200 per hour, 2 Great Northern Divers and 7 Sandwich Terns all going south. Strangely enough 3 Arctic Skuas were going north. Also 2 Whimbrels flew in. 

Posted May 2nd, 2018 at 3:14 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 1st May 2018

South Hams

Very little at Soar first thing so headed to South Huish where a Pectoral Sandpiper had been found and showed well with a Curlew Sandpiper & 10 Dunlins. Also in the area 20+ Whimbrels, 6+ Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Sandwich Terns, 4 Arctic Skuas, 8 Common Scoters, Wheatear & 6 Reed Warblers.

Later at South Efford Marsh: Spoonbill, Curlew Sandpiper, 7 Whimbrels & 6 Dunlins.

Posted May 1st, 2018 at 8:10 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Exminster marsh and Bowling Green Marsh.

Exminster marsh at first light this morning, slight frost over the marsh, Whimbrel flighting in, plenty of Swallows numerous Reed Warblers calling, Reed Bunting and Linnet but no sign of the Black-winged Stilt reported yesterday.

While stood at the middle car parking area a Great White Egret flew down the length of the marsh from the Powderham direction passed close to the Lions Rest industrial units and dropped briefly onto the pond towards the end of the mud track but almost immediately took off and flew out as far as the M5 before turning towards and passing over Topsham.

A visit to Bowling Green Marsh gave four Ruff, seven Knott and the Bonaparte’s Gull which was on the spit in front of the hide along with a first summer Mediterranean Gull and three Common Gull, on leaving Swift and male Blackcap seen.



Posted May 1st, 2018 at 11:53 am by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Start Point / Beesands Ley

Start Point very quiet. Hobby, 5 Whimbrels and a Pochard at Beesands, no sign of Great White Egret.

Posted May 1st, 2018 at 11:07 am by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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