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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Private garden in Pinhoe - help with ID please?

Apologies for the poor quality of this record shot, taken through double-glazing. This bird is a first for me – I'm wondering if it's a Lesser Whitethroat but those aren't brown legs. I'm very happy to be corrected...

Eds - Yes, a Lesser Whitethroat. Greyish legs is fine for that species.

Posted July 31st, 2018 at 9:08 pm by Helen Evans in General Birding

Beesands Ley - Great White Egret

Great White Egret still showing well today. Instead of heading for the hide, turn right out of the carpark, walk along the common and look back towards the hide. 

Posted July 31st, 2018 at 3:36 pm by Bruce Stewart in General Birding

31-07-18 Saltram

At Saltram today the Kingfisher (could be this years juvenile) showing for about an hour on the River Plym by Blaxton Meadow, also a cute juvenile Wren was showing very well

Posted July 31st, 2018 at 3:01 pm by greg bradbury in General Birding

Dartmoor Peregrine

A 2018 hatched Peregrine Falcon recovered near Vixen Tor on Dartmoor this morning close to overhead wires with a broken wing, it is ringed with a BTO ring and a yellow tag ring "FP", a bit thin and infested with flat fly but all being well this one will recover to be released in due course.


Posted July 31st, 2018 at 1:01 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Monday 30th July 2018

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford sewage works. 1445 - 1600.

Among the 100s of juvenile and adult Black-headed and Herring Gulls were 3 Common Gulls;

6 Mediterranean Gulls; 7 Whimbrel and yellow ring B.H.Gull (2H99) from Pitsea Landfill site.

The Grey Heron total is still slowly rising and now at 35. All seem to favour the Penhill Marsh side of the river.

Posted July 30th, 2018 at 7:11 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Beesands Ley

Great White Egret, best viewed from the common just beyond the hidejuly

Posted July 30th, 2018 at 6:13 pm by Terry Goddard in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Lots of young birds in front of the hide this morning, juv Redshank, Dunlin, Terns and Gulls, Common Sandpiper, Oystercatchers and Canada Geese.

1st summer Common Tern and Juv Sandwich Tern
1st summer Common Tern and Juv Sandwich Tern

Posted July 30th, 2018 at 5:02 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Three Black-tailed Godwits in summer plumage, flew down river, 3 Whimbrels, 3 Greenshanks, Common Sandpiper, 45 Curlews, 2 Mediterranean Gulls (ad & 1st-s), 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Stock Doves, 2 Dunlins, 3 Greenshanks, 102 Redshanks & 14 Little Egrets.

Posted July 30th, 2018 at 1:31 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Noss Mayo Bridgend

Reported escaped male Brazilian Teal with ring on leg.

Posted July 30th, 2018 at 9:53 am by Jeremy Spooner and John Adams in General Birding

Sunday 29th July 2018

Hope's Nose

Afternoon watch, 18.20-20.00, sewer flowing and attracting smaller gulls. At least 13 Mediterranean gull (11+ juvs, 1 1st summer, 1 adult), 1 small pale phase skua (arctic?) and 12 manx shearwater.

Posted July 29th, 2018 at 11:01 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Osprey powderham

At around 17:00 from the train as it passed powderham the osprey which has been around the estuary over the last week was being harassed by the local gulls.

Posted July 29th, 2018 at 6:52 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Dawlish warren

Sea watch from 09:00 till 16:45

10 storm petrels ( included a group of 9), 1 sooty shearwater , 20+ Manx shearwater, 3 Arctic Skua ( 1 very dark phase ) 2 great Skua, 43+ Mediterranean gull nearly all juv’s, 3+ common tern and lots of sandwich terns 

Posted July 29th, 2018 at 6:21 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Saturday 28th July 2018

Plym estuary/Blaxton meadow

At high tide:

5 Grey Heron, 111 Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 2 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper, by the old wreck.

40 Curlew, 2 Whimbrel, c300 Black Headed Gull, 8 Mediterranean gull including one with a leg ring, and 11 Little Egret. Wind picking up.

Posted July 28th, 2018 at 7:30 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh this morning

Singles of Ruff, Green Sandpiper and Mediterranean Gull. Peregrine over, creating havoc for around ten minutes. Little Egret chasing and catching dragonflies in front of the hide.

Posted July 28th, 2018 at 1:37 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

Friday 27th July 2018

Blaxton Meadow, Saltram, Plymouth.

An afternoon visit to Blaxton Meadow on the incoming tide, a flock of 40 plus Goldfinch including a large number of juvenile birds on  the fields to the front of Saltram House.


From the hide over looking Blaxton Meadow 12 plus Little Egret, 150 plus Black Head gull including one bird with a yellow plastic tag ring TV7E, one Mediterranean Gull, a possible Yellow Legged Gull, one Oyster Catcher, a flock of some 30 Curlew and at least four Whimbrell.


Posted July 27th, 2018 at 9:25 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


At least 50 Meds tonight.Couldn't do an  age count due to  birds moving though 80% were adults with many more fishing the estuary.17.50-18.40.

Posted July 27th, 2018 at 9:24 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Thursday 26th July 2018

R. Exe Osprey

Lunchtime from R.Clyst viewing platform a very distant Osprey perched on channel marker off Lympstone.

Posted July 26th, 2018 at 11:55 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding


2 little ringed plovers briefly in flight who flew around for some time but didn't alight.Masses of gulls having an anting frenzy but didn't come to land.Also 2 whimbrel 4 dunlin 6 redshank and 2 sandwich terns.17:50- 19:00.

Posted July 26th, 2018 at 9:13 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding


Over the high tide this evening, of note, 9+ med Gulls, moulting Ruff, 30+ Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpiper, Common Gull, GBB Gull, LBB Gull (Psycho), Little grebe and young, Tufted duck and young and the presumed escaped Snow Goose (first time I've seen it on BGM).

Ruff video.

Ruff Common Gull Snow Goose
Ruff                                         Common Gull                                   Snow Goose

Posted July 26th, 2018 at 8:31 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Darts Farm, Topsham

Whilst passing darts farm (near bridge inn) on my morning commute to Exeter, I noticed a white bird in amongst the Canada Geese. On closer inspection it was one of the Snow Geese that have been hanging around the Exe. Pictures on

Posted July 26th, 2018 at 6:51 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

East Soar

Migrants - 6 Willow Warblers in/around Starehole Valley. 380 Linnet with most on rape stubble - indicates very successful breeding season (usually 80 - 100 pairs). 

Mammals: Pod of 17+ Common Dolphin off Bolt Head.

Bflies:  37 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary & 47 Small Copper.

Posted July 26th, 2018 at 2:06 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


An early morning visit to Broadsands before the beachgoers arrived resulted in a Torbay record count of 83 Mediterranean Gulls -mostly juvs around the beach also 1 juv Yellow-legged Gull on the beach at the north end.

Mediterranean Gulls Broadsands Beach 26 Jul 2018

Photo of some of the Mediterranean Gull close to the car park seawall - I've counted 20 in this shot..

Posted July 26th, 2018 at 12:54 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Wednesday 25th July 2018

Plym Estuary

The juv Yellow-legged Gull still around and showing well this afternoon; photos at:-

(There are possibly 2 around). Also - 4 Mediterranean Gulls (2 ads, 2nd-s & my first juv of the autumn), 18 Little Egrets, 2 Whimbrels, 42 Curlews, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Dunlins, Greenshank, 7 Mandarin Ducks & Grey Wagtail. 

Posted July 25th, 2018 at 10:07 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Exton Station

Western Osprey off Exton Station around 4pm today more info and pictures at

Posted July 25th, 2018 at 5:46 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Blaxton meadow, Saltram, Rv Plym

Little Egret 15

Heron 3

300 + Black Head Gulls with more coming in a steady stream.

3 Mediterranean Gulls

30 Curlew

2 Whimbrell 

1 Stock Dove

Posted July 25th, 2018 at 5:45 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Tuesday 24th July 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Highlight on mid-tide this afternoon was a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull. Also adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 Common Sandpipers, summer-plumaged Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Mandarin Ducks, Green Woodpecker, Kestrel, Blackcap, Fox & Clouded Yellow.

Posted July 24th, 2018 at 8:54 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Great bank by Toll Road

This Painted Lady alighted only a metre away from where I was standing while out bird watching this aft.

Posted July 24th, 2018 at 6:48 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

24-07-18 Hooe Lake, Plymouth

At Hooe Lake, Plympton, on the rafters of the old boats, a Sandwich Tern and young, we watched the parent tern fish and feed it's young for several minutes then they flew off not to be seen again.


Posted July 24th, 2018 at 4:30 pm by GregBradbury in General Birding

Turf Tuesday Mid day

Osprey feeding on mudbank between Turf and Royal Marine Camp.

Accompanied by two wary crows hoping for the left overs. 

Still there resting when we left at 1.30.

Posted July 24th, 2018 at 3:32 pm by Patrick Case in General Birding

Monday 23rd July 2018


At least two med gulls over our garden on Clovelly road late afternoon.Adult and 2. Plenty of gulls anting but only got onto these.On private farm today at doccombe at least 6 silver washed frittilaries on large buddliea with 1 hummingbird hawkmoth.Several other bushes to check this week.

Posted July 23rd, 2018 at 9:14 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh area

On Bowling Green this afternoon, Green Sandpiper, Snipe, 3 Tufted Duck ducklings and plenty of Black-tailed Godwits. From the viewing platform, Peregrine & 13+ Whimbrels, and at Goosemoor, adult Spotted Redshank, adult Common Gull & good numbers of adult Dunlins.

Very little on Matford Ponds.

Posted July 23rd, 2018 at 9:09 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford Sewage Works. 1030-1145

Grey Heron 31

Little Egret 8

Med Gull 5A

Black-tailed Godwit 3

Kingfisher 1.

Black-headed Gull - Yellow ring on left tarsus. code 2H93.  Metal I/d ring right tarsus. I/D EZ709046. This bird was first ringed on 25/3/2017 by the North Thames Gull Ringing Group at Pitsea landfill site, Essex. Seen on 2 previous occasions just off Ashford sewage works on 9/7/18 and 19/7/18.

Posted July 23rd, 2018 at 1:06 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Soar Area

Hobby over Higher Soar, sub-adult Common Gull on the Ham Stone, 3 Swifts over Southdown Farm and another family party of 6 Wheatears east of Soar Mill Cove.

Posted July 23rd, 2018 at 12:30 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Sunday 22nd July 2018

Bridestowe Lydford 22-07-2018

Aerial display of Swifts 30+ over Bridestowe, quite a sight.

Posted July 22nd, 2018 at 9:56 pm by Colin Hannaford in General Birding

Bowling Green

One of Two Green Sandpipers that flew in, good views from the hide.

Green Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper

Posted July 22nd, 2018 at 5:12 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Lyme Bay Boat trip

Trip out from Brixham this morning in calm conditions. Just out from Berry Head a Sunfish sighted and then 6 Common Dolphin with young. Birds seen during the 4 hour trip 20+ Manx Shearwater, 2 Balearic Shearwater, 400+ Herring Gull, 2 Fulmar, 2 Razorbill, 6 small groups of Guillemots, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 8 Great Black-backed Gulls, 2 Kittiwake and in the distance a Skua sp. Returning back to Brixham 8 Bottlenose Dolphins. Looking good for next Sundays trip. 

Posted July 22nd, 2018 at 2:53 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Glossy Ibis Matford

After many attempts I went to Matford Marsh this morning from 8.30 - 9.30 - no sign. Then went to St Davids for a steam train. Returned to Matford for another look at the steam train and one last look for the Ibis. It duly flew in dead on noon. Hurrah. Good morning! Ibis still there when I left.

Ibis video   Steam train  video if interested.

Glossy IbisGlossy IbisGlossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis                                 Glossy Ibis                               Glossy Ibis

Posted July 22nd, 2018 at 1:33 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

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