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  Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug 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
Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May  


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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Saturday 7th July 2018

Heddon’s mouth

Two little egrets flying west offshore at 5.30pm.  

Posted July 7th, 2018 at 10:36 pm by Paul Bearman in General Birding

Friday 6th July 2018

Kingsbridge Estuary

7 Greenshanks in Frogmore Creek.

Posted July 6th, 2018 at 5:02 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Best session on the patch for a while. At Blaxton, summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwit and a Whimbrel with 31 Curlews, 7 Mediterranean Gulls (2 each of 2nd & 1st summers and 3 ads) with c345 Black-headed Gulls including 11 juvs, 7 Little Egrets, 2 Stock Doves and a Whitethroat. Also: Kingfisher, 10 Mandarin Ducks, female Red-crested Pochard, Common Sandpiper, first returning Little Grebe, pair of Shelducks with 2 ducklings, my first Spotted Flycatchers (2) of the year here & 2 Roe Deer.  

Posted July 6th, 2018 at 3:04 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Broadsands ~ gulls


Seven Mediterranean Gulls this morning four adults and three first summer birds none of them ringed.

40 plus Black Head Gulls including two juveniles.


Three Whimbrell flew in and landed with the smaller gulls.

Two juvenile Pied wagtails.


Posted July 6th, 2018 at 11:29 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Thursday 5th July 2018

Steps Bridge - Clifford Bridge - Mardon Down

Dipper, Marsh Tit, Treecreeper, Spotted Flycatcher, Garden Warbler, Tree Pipit, Crossbill, Redpoll. (Also Adder).

Posted July 5th, 2018 at 9:03 pm by James Camden in General Birding

Ilfracombe Rocks

Today a passage of 12 Med Gulls in half an hour. Among the Herring Gulls loafing on the rocks & in the stream several with Darvic rings. 

Lesser Black-backed Gull, Sub adult @ boating lakeNorth Coast KestrelsNorth Coast Kestrels
Lesser Black-backed Gull, Sub adult @ boating lake                        North Coast Kestrels   

Posted July 5th, 2018 at 7:28 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh and Goosemoor

Two Med. Gulls at BGM and the Spotted Redshank at Goosemoor

Grey Heron StretchingSpotted Redshank, Redshank+Black-tailed GodwitsBlack-tailed Godwits+Black-headed Gull
Grey Heron Stretching    Sptted Redshank, Redshank+Blk-tGodwits               Bl-tGodwits+Blk-hd Gull

Posted July 5th, 2018 at 3:48 pm by Colin Scott in General Birding


Scanned the beaches this morning with Pete Dennis, no Yellow-legged Gulls today but Preston: 1 ad Mediterranean Gull. Goodrington: 1 fs Med Gull. Broadsands: 1 fs, 1 ss & 1 ad Med Gull also perhaps even more unusual at this time of year in SW 2 fs Common Gulls. A small flock of 8 Common Scoter flew past out into the mist off Preston.

Posted July 5th, 2018 at 1:25 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Hartland Point

Overnight Storm Petrel ringing in perfect conditions at Hartland Point produced 57 new birds - the best ever total for this species at this site. One control.  We also stayed on to see if there was anything else around in the early morning. 9 Linnet and a few each of Chiffchaff and Whitethroat. 1 Willow Warbler.

Posted July 5th, 2018 at 11:12 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Wednesday 4th July 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Whimbrel, 33 Curlews, Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiper, Kingfisher, 9 Little Egrets, 7 juv Black-headed Gulls, pair of Shelducks with 2 ducklings, 2 Shags, 6 Stock Doves, Whitethroat, 23 Mandarin Ducks, Green Woodpecker, 12+ Marbled Whites & 3 Small Skippers..

Posted July 4th, 2018 at 10:17 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Nightjar churring

Nightjar churring recording, East hill

Posted July 4th, 2018 at 3:43 pm by Jon Tagg in General Birding

Bolt Head to Bolt Tail

Breeding bunting news:

Yellowhammer at 67 pairs, up 29% on 2017.

Reed Bunting 1 pair - first breeding record since I began recording in 2012.

Cirl bunting at 39 pairs - down from the record 46 in 2017 but still holding up well.

But: declines for Stonechat, Wheatear, Rock Pipit, Sedge Warbler.

Slight increases for Blackcap, Reed Warbler.

A mixed bag but generally good results taking in the effects of the two cold spells in March.

Posted July 4th, 2018 at 1:58 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Thornhill Head, North Devon

Over the last week have been watching the number of Jackdaws increasing at our feeders. This morning 20 to 25 with a lot of youngsters demanding food and generally being very boisterous. Fat balls are demolished from the feeder in next to no time with a melee on the ground underneath. There have been a few fairly aggressive fights with birds ending up on their backs and our resident pheasant looking quite harrassed as it tries to feed.  No other birds get a look-in.

Interesting reaction this morning by 2 grey squirrels when male sparrowhawk landed on fence next to the feeders. One up the tree flattened itself against the trunk for several minutes before slinking away. Other on the ground didn't see it and continued feeding despite all the birds disappearing/alarm calling. Sparrowhawk hopped to where it could properly see squirrel, appeared uninterested and started preening. Squirrel then hopped up to same level as sparrowhawk noticed it was there and they both eyeballed each other 3-4 feet apart for what seemed ages. They seemed to then both decide that neither was of interest nor a threat - squirrel went back to ground to feed and sparrowhawk carried on preening, then missed a bird (I think great tit) in tree above.

Posted July 4th, 2018 at 9:37 am by Mark West in General Birding

Tuesday 3rd July 2018

Exminster 'Scarce Chaser'

I'm afraid this is a Black-tailed Skimmer.

Posted July 3rd, 2018 at 7:08 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Cranbrook (New Town) Nr Exeter.

The forth and final survey (East Devon Branch) was completed at Cranbrook this morning and our best bird was a Hobby that was sighted twice (assuming it was the same bird).  A total of 57 species were counted over the winter and breeding season counts and these are of interest when compared to the earlier Bird Atlas survey which preceded the construction of the new town.  Our survey was limited to the area of the Countryside Park (which is still under development and continues to create new habitats).  The 'scrape' area opposite the railway station, which produced interesting sightings of passage waders a few years ago has now been lost to willows, rushes and dense undergrowth. Thanks to all who helped with the survey.

Posted July 3rd, 2018 at 4:54 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

River Yealm. Puslinch to Warren along railway track.

High tide just starting to ebb. 10 Curlew, 4 Shelduck, Raven, Garden Warbler

Heron, a number of Mallard. Gulls. Herring , Greater and Lesser BB, Black headed.

Posted July 3rd, 2018 at 3:36 pm by Jeremy Spooner in General Birding

Exminster marsh Osprey etc

Osprey on 2nd pylon North of Station Road, Peregrine on 1st pylon South of Station Road, Reed Warbs, Reed Bunting, Whitethroat juv and lots of butterflies and dragonflies.

OspreyScarce Chaser (I think)Reed Bunting
Osprey                                Scarce Chaser (I think)                             Reed Bunting

Posted July 3rd, 2018 at 1:35 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Monday 2nd July 2018

Roborough Down 02-07-18

Not much to be seen on Roborough Down today, Willow Warblers, Common Redpolls, Yellow Hammers, along with the usual more common birds.

Posted July 2nd, 2018 at 4:57 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Sunday 1st July 2018


After a busy day with rain collection and family, I cycled down to the scrape this evening and the rain had done it's job - a Redshank and more importantly a Wood Sandpiper with an accompanying juvenile Black-headed Gull.Bit late for anything in the reserve, but the Geese still present and both juv Grebes too. Yesterday a Grey Heron dropped in causing panic among the baby Moorhens and a Kingfisher was attempting to fish between the duck-weed.

Posted July 1st, 2018 at 7:41 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Exe Powderham to Turf

During the WeBs count this morning there were 4 common sandpipers on the sea wall and a single golden plover on the shore. Single golden plovers are always worth checking and this one looked slim, fine billed and with an obvious supercilium. However when it raised its wing the underwing was white. An osprey was on top of one of the pylons on the marshes eating a fish.

Posted July 1st, 2018 at 1:09 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Horsey Island

Photo taken early am on my way home from Horsey showing the rising tide at Horsey with Appledore & the approaching rain clouds in the distance.

Posted July 1st, 2018 at 12:40 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Osprey - Exminster Marsh

An Osprey (ringed) found early morning by JD and still late morning on top of first pylon north of Station Road .

Posted July 1st, 2018 at 12:03 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

churston golf course

comma b/fly y/day.  ( jellyfish stinging in elberry cove!!).

Posted July 1st, 2018 at 10:55 am by graham folkerd in General Birding

Bicton Common (East Devon)

A late evening walk last night around the common produced 2 Green Woodpeckers (one juvenile) at 21.30 and c 6 Nightjar.  The latter were widespread with churring starting around 21.55 with close sightings at Lookout Copse near Blackhill Quarry.  Some horses and cattle kept me company and the only downside were the midges and noise from a rave somewhere south! 

Note: 'NIghtjar fieldtrip' to Mutters Moor, Sidmouth is scheduled for Tues. 10 July, meeting at 21.00hrs. (East Devon Branch of Devon Birds).  Would some members observe that we are no longer the DBWPS and have not been for several years now.

Posted July 1st, 2018 at 8:56 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

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