Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Tuesday 31st July 2018

Lundy return crossing

Today's return sailing from Lundy, accompanied by Grant Sherman & Tim Davis we saw plenty of Manx Shearwaters up fairly close to the Oldenburg, a few Gannets & Guillemots. Best bird by far was a tatty looking Sooty Shearwater sat on the water with a small raft of Manx.  

 Sooty Shearwater Gannet
                Sooty Shearwater                                                                    Gannet

Posted July 31st, 2018 at 11:58 pm by Martin Thorne in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sharpa / Wrafton scrape

07.00 > 08.00

Unfortunately, no sign of the Lesser Yellowlegs early am,

the Wood Sandpiper & Common Sandpiper are still present.


Posted July 31st, 2018 at 9:34 am by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 30th July 2018

Possible Juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs

Apologies for poor quality photo but for size comparison.

Posted July 30th, 2018 at 10:23 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sharpa / Wrafton scrape

3 Waders of different sizes on the scrape this evening. 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Wood Sandpiper & the largest (size similar to Redshank) a possible juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs.

Please could you confirm identification from my photos please - Thank You

Eds - yes it’s a Lesser Yellowlegs. Nice find! Upperparts patterning suggests an adult.


Posted July 30th, 2018 at 10:03 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 29th July 2018

Prawle Point

Continuing the seawatch theme, from 14:45 to 17:00, started off with a single Puffin, then the first of 80+ Manx Shearwater, 9 Baleartic Shearwater, 50+ Gannets, 3 Fulmar, 3 Mediterranean Gulls.  Best of all were 2 Sooty Shearwaters and my first Great Shearwater in UK waters.

Pat Mayer and Ivan were there much longer than me and will have much bigger lists.  Thanks to these two for their help spotting and confirming my id's.  (Positively no common gulls this week)

Posted July 29th, 2018 at 11:14 pm by Chris Marcol in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Start Point

Seawatch 09:15-14:30

Together with Dell and Mark Darlaston saw 10 Cory's Shearwaters, 5 Great Shearwaters, 11 Sooty Shearwaters, 1000+ Manx Shearwaters, 30 Balearic Shearwaters, Storm Petrel, Arctic Skua, 2 Great Skuas, 45 Mediterranean Gulls and 5 Yellow-legged Gulls. Dell and Mark still there when I left so totals may have increased. Lots probably missed as the conditions were atrocious at times and there is little shelter there meaning our optics were often unusable. Amazing how Med and Yellow-legged Gulls quite possibly outnumbered Black-headed Gulls and Kittiwakes.

Posted July 29th, 2018 at 6:36 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Seawatching from the yacht club 05:50 - 12:10: 64+ Mediterranean Gulls (80% juveniles), 2 Storm Petrels (11:40 and 11:50), 4 Balearic Shearwaters, 51 Manx Shearwaters, 2 juv Yellow-legged Gulls, 10 Arctic Skuas, 3 Whimbrels, 6 Common Terns, 9 "Commic" Terns, 50+ Sandwich Terns and 107 Kittiwakes.

Posted July 29th, 2018 at 6:13 pm by Will Salmon in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Berry Head

Seawatching at Berry Head 0530-1400hrs: 5 Great Shearwaters, 4 Sooty Shearwaters, 38 Balearic Shearwaters, 666 Manx Shearwaters, 6 Storm Petrels, 17 juvenile Mediterranean Gulls, 3 Juv Yellow-legged Gulls, 3 Arctic Skuas, 2 Great Skuas.

Video clip of closest Great Shearwater at 6am in murk and rain.. : 

Posted July 29th, 2018 at 3:34 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Orcombe Point, Exmouth

Sea watching from the raised beach huts from 6:10 - 8:30. Only one Shearwater species seen but it was a Great Shearwater. Heading west at 6:15. 

Posted July 29th, 2018 at 9:23 am by Spencer Dicks in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 28th July 2018

Ilfracombe Cory's Shearwater

Off Capstone rocks, with dark fast moving Squalls as the backdrop, great to see at least 2 Cory's Shearwaters, along with a Great Skua, several Terns sp, 2 Whimbrels & a Merlin flying along among Manx Shearwaters.  Gannet & Manx Shearwater numbers well up into the 100s. 

Posted July 28th, 2018 at 4:57 pm by Martin Thorne in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Upper Torridge Estuary

Early am:

1 Ruff

31 Common Sandpipers

Posted July 28th, 2018 at 11:33 am by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 24th July 2018

Slapton Ley

Alan's Great White Egret was on the ley shoreline near the pillbox early morning. 2 Kingfishers below the bridge and 4 Common Scoters in the bay.

Posted July 24th, 2018 at 8:18 am by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 23rd July 2018

Prawle Point

Seawatch from 7.25 to 9.35am. Little wind though overcast and dull light. 2 Sooty Shearwaters  west at 7.55 and at 8.30 am. Also 2 Arctic Skuas at 8.45. One very dark and the other very pale phase.Also, Noah like, 2 juvenile Yellow- legged gulls flew close west. Entertained by pod of 25 plus Common Dolphins with many breaching and a pod of 12 plus Harbour Porpoises. Otherwise several rafts of Manx Shearwaters on the sea and 7 Common Scoter east. At the point a Hummingbird Hawkmoth briefly. In the reserve a first year Garden Warbler and several Phylloscs including a Willow Warbler. Plus a few post breeding dispersed female Blackcaps.

Posted July 23rd, 2018 at 9:40 pm by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 22nd July 2018

A good day around the Exe

The Glossy Ibis was showing at Matford marsh late this morning.

On to Exton station where the Osprey was spotted on the far bank eating a fish just up from the Turf Locks pub.

Goosemoor well in excess of 70 Dunlin along with nine Greenshank, Black Tailed Godwit, Lapwing, Little Egret large flock of Black Head Gull 100 plus.

Bowling Green Marsh Green Sandpiper, twelve Little Egret, Two Little Grebe, 200 plus Black Headed Gull, Redshank, Black Tailed Godwit, Lapwing and two Heron.

A return to Goosemoor on the rising tide gave a Curlew Sandpiper in with the Dunlin.

On arriving home I took a call from a Lustleigh resident who had an injured juvenile Goshawk in his garden, I now have the bird which has an injury to one wing but hopefully nothing more than bruising and while waiting to pick up the Goshawk one of my daughters rang to say she was coming up with a small Buzzard that a friend had found in the road on Dartmoor, I now have a Buzzard fledgling absolutely infested with flat fly and very thin but should be no problem to bring on. (Some Images to follow later)


Posted July 22nd, 2018 at 6:51 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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