Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Your 2019 sightings

Happy New Year

Many thanks to all observers that have already submitted their records for 2019, both through Birdtrack and Devon Birds. This is much appreciated.

For other records please could observers submit their sightings by 31st January.

Guidelines and links to recording forms can be found here.

Please send your records to Karen Sims and any descriptions to Kevin Rylands

Best wishes and good birding for 2020.

Posted January 10th at 10:53 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Sightings Page Guidelines

We welcome contributions from Devon Birds members and the general public. Please follow the guidelines on this page if you have something you would like 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 here:

For help with ID email photos to

Posted January 8th at 9:12 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Continued erosion at Dawlish Warren means visitors are reminded to take extra care when visiting. Access along the site, to and from the bird hide and Warren Point, is via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! 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

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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