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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Thursday 31st May 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A late Whimbrel, a singing Whitethroat only just turned up on a new territory, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Small Heaths and a dozen Southern Marsh Orchids.

Posted May 31st, 2018 at 9:27 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Sadly, no sign of the Kentish Plover over the evening high tide. 34 Dunlin, 21 Oystercatcher, 18 Black-headed Gull and a male Wheatear the highlights.

Posted May 31st, 2018 at 9:00 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Big thank you to the Wardens at Dawlish Warren for putting the word out, stunning Rose-coloured Starling out by the hide this evening.

Rose-coloured Starling
Rose-coloured Starling

Posted May 31st, 2018 at 6:27 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding


1 over lustleigh at 08:30am

Posted May 31st, 2018 at 4:58 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Berry Head

A 1/2 hr seawatch first thing this morning produced of note: 1 Great Skua, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Sandwich Terns and 6 Manx Shearwaters. there were 21 Kittiwakes sat on the cliffs today but no sign of any nests or nest building.  Around the headland 3 singing Reed Warblers including two in bushes just behind the coastguard station also1 Yellowhammer flew over toward the headland.


Posted May 31st, 2018 at 4:54 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Berry Head and Teigngrace


2 Razorbills on sea below hide and several Kittiwakes on the main cliff.  2 adult Whitethroats with 3 young close to the southern fort.  As the mist closed in, 1 singing Reed Warbler in dense cover close to the end of the headland. 

Yesterday lunchtime along the River Teign near Teigngrace:  3 male and 1 female Mandarin.  1 Spot Fly, Grey Wag, GSW and GW. 

Posted May 31st, 2018 at 2:30 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding


Hoopoe seen on entrance to car park at 16:00.

Posted May 31st, 2018 at 1:29 am by Jason smith in General Birding

Wednesday 30th May 2018


Grasshopper Warbler the star bird of a late afternoon dogwalk from The Green, Fremington, along the permissive footpath to the Tarka Trail. The Gropper was reeling from the near side of the reedbed area at Salt Pill Duck Pond. Also good Swift/House Martin/Swallow movement with the showers. Jay, GSWoodpecker, Sparrowhawk, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting, Whitethroat, Stonechat.

I can't stress enough how much potential there is in the habitat either side of this short walk. Well worth a quick detour off the Tarka Trail any time (but especially when the pushbike traffic is like it was today).

Posted May 30th, 2018 at 8:00 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Meddon Green LNR

A very wet morning at the reserve saw 1 Willow Tit, 1 Bullfinch, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Blackcap 1m 1f, 1 Marsh Tit, 2 Swallow.

Note, Lower Tamar Lake 2 Great Crested Grebe one sitting on the nest.

Posted May 30th, 2018 at 7:14 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Yelland Marsh

Saw a whitethroat , several stonechats , several Reed Buntings  and a female Marsh Harrier this morning on Yelland Marsh 

Posted May 30th, 2018 at 12:49 pm by Matt Gregory in General Birding

Hobby at Exwick

Hobby flew over the garden at 10.30am - most unusual and first sighting here - possibly targeting House Martins and Swifts feeding at low level in humid overcast conditions.

Posted May 30th, 2018 at 10:57 am by Martin Overy in General Birding


The DWT reserve at Heathfield was simply buzzing with Nightjar's last evening (29th May), they were on the wing by 8.54pm, in broad daylight and it was still reasonably light when I left an hour later, having seen at least seven birds, on several occasions two males chasing and displaying to a female.

I have never seen Nightjar's so active in such lighting condition's, I can only assume that they came out early as it was a very dull and totally overcast evening.

On arrival a flock of 16 Pied Wagtails.


Posted May 30th, 2018 at 8:29 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Tuesday 29th May 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Twenty-three drake Manadarin Ducks now plus a duck still with 5 small ducklings. Also single Shag, Green Woodpecker and Stock Dove, plus 6 Curlews & 2 Roe Deer.

Posted May 29th, 2018 at 8:43 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Around the Portworthy mica dam ~ Little Grebe 3, Coot with well grown brood of young, pair of Tufted duck, Moorhen, Mallard, 10 Canada geese and another 10 plus in the air towards the moors, Willow Warbler, Grey and Pied Wagtail, Goldfinch, a pair of Shellduck with 12 very young ducklings, Great Black Back Gull, Green Woodpecker and (thanks to later photo  ID by Mike Langman) a female Brazilian duck. Lots of very small blue butterflies all over the area.


Clearbrook ~ Linnet, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Stonechat, Buzzard.

Three Cuckoo close to the Warren House Inn.

Bennets Cross to Challacombe ~ Whinchat, 2 female Redpoll, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, 3 Wheatear, Redstart, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock inc a pair with dependant young, Stonechat, numerous Swallow and House Martin.


Posted May 29th, 2018 at 3:42 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Monday 28th May 2018

Challacombe Farm & Challacombe Down

Redstarts and Spotted Flycatchers busy feeding young. Lots of Willow Warblers and Blackcaps; singles of Whitethroat, Treecreeper and Reed Bunting; at least four Cuckoos, but the Whinchat were not in evidence.


Posted May 28th, 2018 at 5:08 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding

Yarner woods

Pied flycatcher Male and female comparison today at Yarner 

Posted May 28th, 2018 at 2:58 pm by John Deakins in General Birding

Osprey - Underdown, Haldon.

Osprey north over Underdown, Haldon at 6.30pm 27th May.

Posted May 28th, 2018 at 1:43 pm by John Gale in General Birding

Sunday 27th May 2018


I still have 9 free grass-cutting Canada Geese in the reserve this evening, but only 2 juv Moorhens seen. Singing Cetti's, and Reed Warblers, plus Chiffchaff and Blackcap.

Agree with 11 Godwits but oddly a drake Teal has turned up there too. Very late.

Posted May 27th, 2018 at 8:26 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Berry Head: 8:00 - 11:30

Stayed on later so in addition to Mike's earlier post:

A further, c.450 Manx Shearwater; 2 Arctic Skua; 3 Puffin; 1 Gt N Diver.

At lest 13 Small Blue & 8 - 10 Common Blue Butterflies near the quarry and along the main path upwards.

Posted May 27th, 2018 at 7:53 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake this morning.

1 Willow Tit, 4 Swift, 1 Grey Heron, 19 Mallard, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Blackcap, 8 House Martin.

Posted May 27th, 2018 at 6:57 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Meddon Green LNR

On a sunny morning at the reserve were 2 Willow Tit, 8 Goldfinch, 6 Swallow, 2 House Martin, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Dunnock, 3 Blue Tit, 3 Chaffinch. Plus one Orange tip butterfly.

Also 3 Red-legged Partridge and 1 Pheasant (m) in my garden daily.

Posted May 27th, 2018 at 6:25 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Sharpa scrape & Taw Estuary

11 Black tailed Godwits still on the scrape this am.

This is the only pair of Shelduck I have seen so far on the Taw Estuary with juveniles. There were 10 juv's present, but by the time I removed the camera from the bag 7 of them walked over the top of the mud bank out of view!


Posted May 27th, 2018 at 2:00 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

South Brent ~ Tawny owlet

I have been hearing a young Tawny owl calling at night around the garden for the last couple of weeks this morning it showed its face.


Posted May 27th, 2018 at 1:52 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Red Kite

Red Kite flying east over Instow Quay at noon.

Posted May 27th, 2018 at 1:31 pm by Mike Glover in General Birding

Berry Head

A short seawatch this morning with Dave Holloway produced: 4 Puffin, 1 Great Skua, 8 Sandwich Tern, 38 Manx Shearwater, 2 Common Dolphin, 5-6 Harbour Porpoise and 1 Grey Seal.

Up on top of the headland: 1 singing Reed Warbler was the only sign of any passage birds. 

Posted May 27th, 2018 at 10:50 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Saturday 26th May 2018

Heathfield to Challacombe

Very little to see on the DWT reserve at Heathfield this morning a few Stonechat, Swift and Swallow.

Onto Yarner which produced three Spotted Flycatcher and a calling Wood Warbler the full leaf canopy is making woodland birding that much harder but Pied Flycatcher, Song Thrush, Redstart, Wren, GSWP, Jay all seen and a Cuckoo calling in the top of the wood towards the top car parks.

Beyond Hay Tor good views of a Cuckoo and Meadow Pipits that were trying to drive it away.

Around Challacombe male Whinchat, Wheatear, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, four Redstart, Pied and Grey Wagtail Dunnock, Wren, Reed Bunting, Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Buzzard and Heron.



Posted May 26th, 2018 at 6:49 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Haytor quarry

Several cuckoos about at first light today

Posted May 26th, 2018 at 5:59 pm by John Deakins in General Birding

Yarner woods

Male and female Pied Flycatchers today


Posted May 26th, 2018 at 5:57 pm by John Deakins in General Birding

Rillage Point to Watermouth

An amazing and very welcome late migration of House Martins this morning, with a phenomenal 762 (minimum!) flying ENE between 06.20 and 10.00. Tight flocks of mainly 15-30 birds, but in a few cases up to 50, were piling through at astonishing speed and almost silently, with unusually few calls. The urgency of delayed migration was palpable and an impressive spectacle to witness. Also an encouraging 54 Swifts, plus 49 Swallows and 6 Sand Martins. Other migrants included 2 Little Egrets, a Dunlin, 28 immature Lesser Black-backs (all E), and 8 Siskins (E in ones and twos – surprisingly late). There were large numbers of Manx Shearwaters streaming W (typical morning feeding movement out of the Bristol Channel) and though I didn't get a chance to do a proper count, being distracted elsewhere, a few samples suggested up to 1,000 per hour at peak.

Posted May 26th, 2018 at 11:46 am by Tim Jones in General Birding

Friday 25th May 2018

Skerries Bank off Slapton- Artic Skua

Late post from yesterday afternoon. An Artic Skua busy chasing gulls above and around my boat, fishing the Skerries Bank yesterday afternoon about 1500hrs. Should have been visible from Slapton.

Posted May 25th, 2018 at 6:14 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Emsworthy Mire 25-05-18, Red Kite & Cuckoo's

Mid morning at Emsworthy Mire, several Cuckoo's calling, also seen a Reed Bunting  and about mid-day a Red Kite flew over (distant) but light was horrible.


Posted May 25th, 2018 at 4:41 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Haldon Butterfly Walk

Things hotting up on the Butterfly Walk with 9 species of Butterfly found, Fritillaries every where but best for me was this Dingy Skipper. Also plenty of Dragonflies, day time moths, Hoverflies and other insects, surprised to be the only human about!

Dingy Skipper
Dingy Skipper

Posted May 25th, 2018 at 4:16 pm by Simon Thurgood in General Birding

Thursday 24th May 2018

Bennets Cross- Golden Dagger Mine (Soussons)

8 members of DB (East Devon Branch) attended the fieldtrip south of Bennetts Cross as far as the Golden Dagger mine.  Numerous Whinchat were present and other sightings included Gt Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Mistle Thrush, 2 Cuckoo, Green Woodpecker (heard), M'pipits, Grey Wagtail and a Red Kite over (flying east at around 12.00 hrs).

Challacombe farm was visited in the afternoon where Redstart, Treecreeper, Stonechat, Linnet and Marsh Tit were added to the list.  Another Cuckoo was heard further up the valley on Hamel Down.  

A quick visit to Stover Lake produced 2 male Mandarin Duck.

Posted May 24th, 2018 at 6:07 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Clearbrook today

4 Siskins,6 Redpoles,,5 Reed Buntings,Meadow Pipits,Willow Warblers,7 Red Kites,3 Buzzards,4 Bullfinches,5 Greenfinches,1Cuckoo,1 Kestrel,5 Yellowhammers,Stonechates with young,Small heathes,Roe Deer.


Eds; Looks like a Fallow Deer..

Posted May 24th, 2018 at 3:24 pm by chris Buckland in General Birding


7 Red Kites over very high up heading south at lunch time.

Posted May 24th, 2018 at 2:31 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

The right place at the right time.

Who says  seagulls don't have their uses!! Hearing their alarm call from my back garden off Marldon Rd about 1.30 today, spotted a kite along with a buzzard being harried by the gulls. This follows a sighting of two kites two weeks ago also from my garden. Paignton seems to be developing a reputation as a birders El Dorado.

Posted May 24th, 2018 at 2:12 pm by Philip L. Fairclough in General Birding

Wednesday 23rd May 2018

South Milton Ley

With South Huish being fairly quiet,6 Dunlin being the best, I went out of the sun to sit in the shade by the viewing screen we installed earlier in the year at South Milton Ley. Nice to get a couple of new species for me at this location! Firstly a pair of Blackcap and then for 30 mins or so a Spotted Flycatcher making its feeding attacks on the many flies. Around the Ley, quite a bit of activity from at least 8 Sedge Warblers carrying food. Reed Bunting and Reed Warblers also seen. Good to see some activity on the new ditch/pond! Still relatively raw from the excavation,but the vegetation is building up. A Grey Heron on the bank and a couple of species of dragonfly observed as well as hawking swallows. The cleared area makes it easier to pick out the birds. On the way home in the Avon Valley, near Knapp Mill saw another feeding Spotted Flycatcher. This one reported to Rod Bone for his study on the species with the RSPB in the area.

Posted May 23rd, 2018 at 8:02 pm by David Pakes in General Birding


6.0 pm 23 May Spoonbill at S Efford marsh

Posted May 23rd, 2018 at 6:37 pm by Roger White in General Birding

Marsh Green, East Devon

Red Kite over village drifting east at a hight at 1800, while I enjoyed a cool beer in the garden, bliss!

Posted May 23rd, 2018 at 6:29 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

River Plym

A cycle ride in lovely sunshine from Plymouth to Clearbrook and back.

At the Cann Quarry Peregrine watch point, the pair feeding 4 young in the nest. Also in the Plym Valley, a pair of Spotted Flycatchers nest building, 5 Siskins, Marsh Tit and Green Woodpecker.

At Clearbrook, a Tree Pipit, 2 Lesser Redpolls and 2 pairs of Stonechats with young.

On the Plym Estuary, a female Mandarin Duck with 5 ducklings and also 3 drakes plus 6 Curlews.  

Posted May 23rd, 2018 at 6:04 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Four RED KITE circling over Haggington Hill / Watermouth area of Berrynarbor at about 1:00 pm  -1:30 pm today.

Posted May 23rd, 2018 at 5:14 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding


A Mandarin Duck has 3 young (Manderlings?) in the inlet channel, plus 3 drakes near the boardwalk. Also 2 Stock Doves (one interested in an open-fronted box on a tree) and Mistle Thrush young (doing a good White's Thrush impression!)

Dragonflies in fair abundance also, with c12 Hairy Dragonflies, c25 Red-eyed Damselflies, masses of Azure and Large Red Damselflies and smaller numbers of Beautiful Demoiselle, Blue-tailed and Common Blue Damselflies, Broad-bodied and Four-spotted Chasers and Emperor, but no Downy Emeralds (although there were 5 at Little Bradley Ponds earlier). If anyone is interested in seeing them, join our BDS/Devonshire Association meeting at Stover this Sunday at 10am.

Mandarin family Stover  Stock Dove Stover Mistle Thrush juv Stover

Mandarin family                               Stock Dove                                     Mistle Thrush juv

Posted May 23rd, 2018 at 4:41 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Morte Point

Sedge Warbler on the Point this morning. 

Posted May 23rd, 2018 at 12:57 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

Nr Broadhempston

Red Kite with missing secondaries on right wing, between Broadhempston and Ipplepen.

Posted May 23rd, 2018 at 10:26 am by Richard Hibbert in General Birding

Tuesday 22nd May 2018

Red Kite Uffculme

Four Red Kite drifted over with three Buzzards at 17:50 this afternoon

Posted May 22nd, 2018 at 10:17 pm by Mike Tout in General Birding

Nr Broadhempston

Red Kite with missing secondaries on right wing, between Broadhempston and Ipplepen.

Posted May 22nd, 2018 at 9:32 pm by Richard Hibbert in General Birding

ringneck parakeet

25 ringneck parakeet central park

Posted May 22nd, 2018 at 9:22 pm by barry in General Birding

Siskin on Roborough Down 21/09/2018

Late posting for yesterday. male Siskin spotted on Roborough Down near Clearbrook turning. Can't recall any previous sightings there.

Posted May 22nd, 2018 at 4:59 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

East Soar

Red Kite over Bolt Head heading east; also 3 late migrant Northern Wheatears and a male Stonechat showing characteristics of race "rubicola".

Posted May 22nd, 2018 at 2:09 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


A Red Kite circling very low near the church. It Then climbed to join 3 circling Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk, before slowly drifting N.E.. Stunning views.

Posted May 22nd, 2018 at 11:03 am by Alan K Searle in General Birding


Visited the Mire yesterday.  Sat at east end of track and located four Cuckoos continuously singing - two the other side of the mire.  Also heard female 'bubbling'.  Redstart near barn. A few Meadow Pipit and a Tree Pipit plus Stonechat and Skylark.  Bluebells in full and glorious bloom.  

Posted May 22nd, 2018 at 9:41 am by Geoff Green in General Birding

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