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 social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Bowling Green Marsh and 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

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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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 14th June 2018


Tuesday 12th June DWT Heathfield Reserve four Nightjar heard churring/calling and seen in flight.

Wednesday 13th June Stover Country Park, three birds heard calling and views of two in flight.

Posted June 14th, 2018 at 7:06 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Re: Probable Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (SPBF) Yesterday

Just for your info: Bill Coulson's photo of a probable SPBF is a defininately a SPBF, even without a view of the underwings. Looking at the outside edge of the forewings you can see all the orange spots fully enclosed in a black rough circle. Had this been a Pearl-bordered Fritillary the orange spots would have been "open," the inner black borders only appearing as black spots. 

Posted June 14th, 2018 at 6:52 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Spotted flycatcher tracking project

Devon Birds/RSPB/BTO Spotted flycatcher tracking project

We need your help in locating spotted flycatcher nests in Devon to contribute to our ongoing project that you can read about in the current issue of Devon Birds.

Spotted flycatchers have seen declines of 83% since the 1960s. Reasons for this decline may include factors operating within UK breeding grounds, such as reduced availability of invertebrates, but the species may also be declining due to problems along their migratory journey to Africa and back. But we know little about their wintering grounds. We need this information to understand what part of the annual cycle causes problems for spotted flycatchers, and where we might need to focus future work to reverse declines. To do this we are continuing the work we started in 2016, tracking migrations and determine wintering areas using tiny tracking devises. These geolocators weigh only 0.36g - incredible!

But to be able to do this we need to catch and tag spotted flycatchers in places where they return each year, as we need to recapture tagged birds the year after to retrieve the tag and its data. The best places to do this are peoples gardens. Do you have Spotted flycatchers nesting at the moment in your garden or farm? And have you had them nesting the past few years? If you are happy to have your spotted flycatchers captured and tagged for this project, please could you email or

Thanks, James & Malcolm

Posted June 14th, 2018 at 4:37 pm by Malcolm Burgess in General Birding

Wednesday 13th June 2018

Yelland/RSPB Isley Marsh

Unseen warbler recorded singing this lunchtime turned out to be a Lesser Whitethroat.

Also thought it unusual to see a lone Whimbrel on Isley Marsh on evening of 12th June. Late north, early south or non breeding?

Posted June 13th, 2018 at 11:13 pm by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Brixham etc

Not much but a cheeky little Rock Pipit and Fulmar

Rock Pipit Fulmar
Rock Pipit                       Fulmar

Posted June 13th, 2018 at 10:21 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Pearl-bordered Fritillary - East Soar

Lots of the usual birds showing well this morning at East Soar this morning plus this beautiful Pearl - bordered Fritillary. This may be a Small P-b Fritillary as these seem to be most often seen at East Soar but I couldn't get a look at the underwings.

Probable Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary
Probable Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Posted June 13th, 2018 at 6:09 pm by Bill Coulson in General Birding


1Red Kite drifting East at 2pm

Posted June 13th, 2018 at 4:14 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Tamar Lakes

Hazy sun after early mist.

2 Garden Warblers singing, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Raven over plus other corvids, 1 Buzzard, 2 Meadow Pipits at the Upper Lake, 7+ Mallard, 4 Great Crested Grebes, several Wood Pigeons, Blue and Great Tits.

Harvey Kendall.

Posted June 13th, 2018 at 2:20 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Tuesday 12th June 2018

Egyptian goose

Spotted one Egyptian Goose, quite close to my yacht up the bag at Salcombe, it was making quite a noise,it liked to be on either a floating pontoon,or sitting on a nearby dinghy.

Posted June 12th, 2018 at 7:32 pm by David Read in General Birding


Great Crested Grebe on nest in Exeter (I last saw it May 15th when there was a Male and chicks) no sign of male or chicks today but female actively nest building. Also a smart Lesser Black -backed Gull nearby.

Great Crested Grebe Lesser Black-backed Gull
Great Crested Grebe                               Lesser Black-backed Gull

Posted June 12th, 2018 at 6:07 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Arlington Court

Pair of spotted flycatchers,male and female Redstarts feeding at least 3 fledglings' families of goldfinch, nuthatch gs woodpecker and chaffinches.Beautiful day.

Posted June 12th, 2018 at 5:02 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Plymouth to Yelverton

Cycled from Plymouth to Yelverton & back. At Weighbridge Cottage, 3 female Mandarin Ducks with 4, 5 & 7 ducklings respectively and also an eclipse drake there. In Plymbridge Woods, 4 Marsh Tits, a pair of Grey Wagtails with 5 juvs and another with 1 juv, plus the 4 juv Peregrines at the nest (1 occupying a ledge just below the nest after falling out several weeks ago). Clearbrook produced Lesser Redpoll and Tree Pipit, and in Cann Woods, a singing Garden Warbler.

Posted June 12th, 2018 at 4:39 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


9 Swift in group, 10 House martin , 3 Swallow.

Posted June 12th, 2018 at 2:04 pm by Jeremy Spooner in General Birding

Monday 11th June 2018

Elburton Villa football club, Haye Road, plymouth

A pair of barnacle geese circling and then alighting on a football pitch at the football club.

Posted June 11th, 2018 at 9:47 pm by Pat Gubb in General Birding

SpoonBill Averton Gifford

Little in the way of Waders on the marsh yesterday although there were lots of juvenile birds actively being fed by parents. One sight which caught my eye was the left wing of the Spoonbill present although distant from view. I am uncertain but it could possibly be a firearms injury? The bird was active and still flying several short hops unencumbered by the wound. Hopefully it will make a good recovery. If it has been shot then this is a real shame that someone has chosen to do so to such a beautiful creature.


Posted June 11th, 2018 at 8:59 pm by John Wilkes in General Birding

Shipley Bridge to Avon Dam

Red Kite being mobbed by Carrion Crows halfway to the dam

Posted June 11th, 2018 at 8:46 pm by Jeremy Spooner in General Birding


four swifts flying and screaming around the roof tops of exmouth library.

Posted June 11th, 2018 at 3:49 pm by eric in General Birding

Sunday 10th June 2018

Preston, Paignton

Late this morning 3 Swifts overhead. This evening good numbers of House Martins over Preston seafront. Back home about a dozen angry Herring Gulls mobbing a Buzzard as it was flying towards Hollicombe woods.

Posted June 10th, 2018 at 9:30 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Occombe, Paignton

Continuing with my last posting, again plenty of Wren activity with at least 13 recorded this morning. Again good numbers of Blackbirds, 5 Blackcaps (inc a female), 4 Robins (inc 2 fledglings and all 4 seen separately), 4 Goldfinch, Pied Wagtail, at least 2 Long-tailed Tits, 3 Pheasant (1 female who I'm sure was protecting a nest), 3 male Mallards, Nuthatch, Greenfinch, 3 Chiffchaff, Swallow, Song Thrush, 3 House Martins, House Sparrow, Kestrel and a Buzzard. When I visited midweek in the late afternoon I heard the call of a Buzzard chick but not today. Interestingly, today was the 1st time since Father's Day 5 years ago that I've seen Skylark at Occombe.

Posted June 10th, 2018 at 8:34 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding


I recently put up 2 swift boxes on our house.I only had a youtube clip to play and only at weekends which didnt really get much i purchased an mp3 download from swift conservation group fo £2 and this did the trick.Yesterday and today i played it through my bluetooth seaker and they came down immediately investigating the calls.Although the didnt enter the boxes the fact that they responded was encouraging as was the individual checking out the gables for the first time in 50 yearswhich proves the need to play recordings.Also yesterday a large moth came into the garden and damnit didnt have my bins.In profile in flight it was holding its wings verticallywhich were about 3 inches long.Appeared brown in colour,any one have an idea.

Posted June 10th, 2018 at 12:14 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Redstart Arlington Court

Busy pair of Redstart in the gardens immediately around the house. Aim for the lovely old (dead oak) that’s head together with cables and brackets.

Posted June 10th, 2018 at 9:14 am by Tom Williams in General Birding

Saturday 9th June 2018

Dawlish Warren NR

Good numbers of Whitethroat showing with two pairs feeding fledged but dependant young and two others pairs gathering food and flying into thick cover, plenty of Linnets, Dunnock, Skylark and Goldfinch.

Small waders included Sanderling, Dunlin, Turnstone and Ringed Plover.

Posted June 9th, 2018 at 6:36 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Between Horns Cross and Fairy Cross

At 10:30am one Red Kite 

Posted June 9th, 2018 at 3:45 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Friday 8th June 2018

ringneck parakeet

70 ringneck parakeet central park

Posted June 8th, 2018 at 9:49 pm by barry insull in General Birding

Holdstone down

A foggy walk this morning, there were 30+ linnets,  plenty of meadow pipits and skylarks,  I heard a  cuckoo several times on my circuit but presumably it was the same one. Not as many small butterfly or moth as the other day but most birds were feeding on insects of one sort or the other. 

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit

Posted June 8th, 2018 at 3:57 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Sharpa scrape

2 Black tailed Godwits present am.

Posted June 8th, 2018 at 1:07 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding


2 Kites thermalling low over Mary Tavy today. Glided off NE to the moor. 

Posted June 8th, 2018 at 12:37 pm by Innes in General Birding

Plym Estuary/Saltram

Walked around during low tide & saw the following. Mandarin Duck 6m 2f 1f with 4 juveniles, Common Sandpiper 1, Oystercatcher 1, Curlew 3, Stock Dove 10 & a Spotted Flycatcher. Not much on the estuary as there were a number of bait diggers on the mud.

Posted June 8th, 2018 at 11:01 am by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Swifts in Braunton

Following on from Jon's and Tom's postings, "our" Swifts (in east Braunton) were back over the house on 10th May, seen almost daily since then, max of 12 screaming over house. Red Kite over house wk. comm. 6 May. Juv. Robin in kitchen this morning...!

Posted June 8th, 2018 at 10:59 am by Paul & Ro Madgett in General Birding

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