Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

2019 Descriptions - last call

The deadline for the 2019 Bird Report is rapidly approaching. If you found (or saw) any of these birds please could you submit a description to to ensure your records are published. Many thanks. 

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 - Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Dawlish Warren are closed until further notice. 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


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

Monday 14th May 2018

Red Kite ~ Near Dean Prior, Buckfastleigh

Early this evening a local farmer rang me to say that he had ten Red Kite's on one of his fields near Dean Prior, Buckfastleigh.

The field in question was being used for preparing garden turf, several surrounding fields are having grass cut, on arrival all but one Kite had departed but the remaining bird showed well.

Back home at South Brent a single Swift over the house.

Posted May 14th, 2018 at 9:25 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Red Kite passage

Minimum 80 Red Kites heading West over Colyton between 14:15 and 17:45. Some birds were very high so we would have missed some; total birds going over would likely have been a fair few more than the 80 recorded. Also 1 Hobby over.

Posted May 14th, 2018 at 7:36 pm by Tim White in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 12th May 2018

DWT reserve Heathfield

A late evening visit to the DWT reserve at Heathfield gave five possibly six Nightjar churring and seen in flight.

Before it got to dark Yellow Hammer, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, a possible Tree Pipit and numerous Swallow.

Over at Stover two Tawny owls calling but no sign of any Nightjar's. 

Posted May 12th, 2018 at 11:00 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 11th May 2018

Prawle Point

Seawatch  from 7.45am till 1.30pm in reasonable conditions: SE 4. 4 Pomarine Skuas-2 dark and 2 pale phased; 1 Bonxie; 1 Great Northern Diver and 1 Puffin. 1000+ Manx Shearwaters.Left before rain set in as lost my rain hood !


Posted May 11th, 2018 at 11:13 pm by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head update

Seawatch 0920-1920 (with Pete Aley and Bill MacD). SSE-S with rain bearing front arriving1320-1800, clearance by 1830. A very strong passage of 98 Puffins (a record here, my previous highest count was 66 on 09/04/09), in groups up to four. Also Iceland Gull (presumed faded 2cy and almost certainly same bird as seen by Rupert Kirkwood 2 days ago), Balearic Shearwater (good record for May), c6300 Manx Shearwaters, Pomarine Skua, 2 Arctic Skuas, 3 Bonxies, Red-throated Diver (bp) Great Northern Diver (bp), 9 Sandwich Terns, 18 Common Scoters (8S,10N), Whimbrel and singles of Common Dolphin & Harbour Porpoise.

Iceland Gull (2cy?)Manx Shearwaters

Posted May 11th, 2018 at 10:03 pm by Mark Darlaston in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Slapton Ley / Beesands Ley

Got to Slapton Ley late afternoon. In the rain a couple hundred Swallows and about 100 House Martins at Torcross. Around Ireland Bay c500 Swifts. Numbers soon fell as the rain eased and the sun came out, all this fairly predictable at Slapton. A half hour seawatch from the Memorial Car Park produced 185 Manx Shearwaters and 2 Sandwich Terns heading south. Around at Beesands Ley surprised to see what I presume is the same male Garganey that was found on Monday. Also still a Pochard and a few Swifts, Swallows and House Martins dropping in and out.

Posted May 11th, 2018 at 8:56 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Seawatch this afternoon to coincide with the poorer weather (13.20 - 18.00): highlight was a Pomarine Skua with good spoons; also Balearic Shearwater, 62 Puffins, c4,700 Manx Shearwaters, Arctic Skua, 3 Bonxies, Red-throated Diver, 4 Sandwich Terns & a Harbour Porpoise.

MD was there before and after me so update with higher numbers anticipated.

Posted May 11th, 2018 at 8:03 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 9th May 2018

Southdown Farm, Bolberry

2 Greenland Wheatears - very approachable! Many Cirl Buntings still in flocks, looks like a late season.

Posted May 9th, 2018 at 4:52 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 8th May 2018

Dawlish Warren Red-backed Shrike

The Red-backed Shrike was still showing at Dawlish Warren this afternoon. The only other bird of note was a Cuckoo.

Red-backed Shrike  Cuckoo
Red-backed Shrike                                          Cuckoo

Posted May 8th, 2018 at 8:31 pm by Samuel Gray in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Dawlish Warren

Male Red backed shrike near the car park (edge of nature reserve near copse known as the Cuckoo's nest). From inner car park, pick up gravel path that leads into nature reserve - bird seen in bushes near copse.

Posted May 8th, 2018 at 9:36 am by Stephen Edwards in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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