General Birding

Missing Devon rarity records 2018

Unfortunately no descriptions have been submitted for the following records of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. This means, as things stand, they will not make the official record as part of the 2018 Devon Bird Report. It would be a great shame to lose these records.

If anyone saw these birds (you don’t have to be the finder) please can you submit a description and/or photos asap to Kev Rylands: Thank you.

Chough Northam 17-18 July  

Corn Bunting Beer Head 25 August

Cory’s Shearwater (2) Ilfracombe 28 July

Cory’s Shearwater Thurlestone 26 August

Glossy Ibis Exe Estuary 21-27 October

Golden Oriole Blaxton Meadow 18 April

Great Shearwater (2) Berry Head 20 September

Great White Egret (2) Bridge Marsh, Axe Estuary 13 January

Great White Egret Black Hole Marsh, Axe Estuary 22 August

Great White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March

Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May

Great White Egret Stover 01 October

Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May

Little Bunting Slapton 21 October

Montagu’s Harrier Dartmoor 19 Aug

Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August

Ring-necked Duck Lee Moor 14 October

Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August

Serin South Hallsands 24 April

Tree Sparrow Haldon 20 May

Posted September 24th at 8:44 am by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Please take extra care when visiting Dawlish Warren. We have been informed that due to the recent bad weather there has been significant erosion from Groyne 10 eastwards. This means that access along the site, to and from Warren Point (and the bird hide) will be via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! Signs have been put up to alert people to the hazards, but people need to be aware that access routes that they have become used to may not be available and they need to exercise extreme caution,  with the possibility of being cut off by the tide, and people are strongly urged not to try climbing the sand cliffs. Further information is available on the Teignbridge District Council website.

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 11:08 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding


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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Tuesday 14th August 2018

Velator etc.

In the reserve this morning a large flock of Tits including at least 8 Long-tailed and a couple of Coal Tits. A Kestrel hovered briefly over and a Grey Wagtail came in and shortly after- left.

This evening I walked around Sherpa Marsh. 2 Little Egrets on the Caen, along with a loafing flock of mostly Black-headed Gulls on the Saltmarsh. Several of each of Sand and House Martin along with the Swallows. 1 Snipe, 2 Lapwing and 5 Greenshank. At least 7 Swifts hawking insects over the reed-bed. Best however was a bird of prey over by the RMB Chivenor base. A dark female (or juv) Marsh Harrier. It quickly became involved with one of the local Buzzards which although bulkier lost out in manouverability. The Harrier gave as good as it got. Looking back at it a few minutes later I saw there were three birds of prey. 2 Buzzards and then not one, but 2 Marsh Harriers. Both dark with the pale yellow caps. Finally as I passed the reserve a 3rd Little Egret flew over and a flock of approx. 50 Swallows were nearby.

Posted August 14th, 2018 at 9:11 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Soar & Slapton

Very little sign of migration at Soar - just a Tree Pipit and a handful of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs.

At Slapton beach, 100+ Mediterranean Gulls (mainly juvs), juv Yellow-legged Gull, c10 Kittiwakes, 13 Sanderlings and a Dunlin.

Posted August 14th, 2018 at 8:34 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Present for morning high tide. 

Spoonbill Juv, Marsh Harrier Juv & Ad Glossy Ibis (which dropped in for half hour) were highlights.

Otherwise 325 Redshank, 21 Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, 250 Curlew, 8 Whimbrel, 12 Lapwing, 45 Dunlin, a Bar-tailed Godwit, Green Sandpiper & Common Sandpiper. Also plenty of Black-tailed Gidwits. 

10 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler & 4 Little Grebe (2 Ads & 2 Juvs)

Posted August 14th, 2018 at 7:50 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Hartland point to Hartland quay

Fulmers, distant Gannets and Manx Shearwaters. Along the coast plenty of Whitethroats, Linnets and Stonechat. 1 Wheatear 1 Rock Pipit and Kestrel.

Posted August 14th, 2018 at 2:47 pm by A.COLLINGE in General Birding

Anchorwood bank Barnstaple

Nice to see 30 Blackwits feeding on the mudflats on the receding tide this morning 11:30.

Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit

Posted August 14th, 2018 at 1:15 pm by Roy Churchill in General Birding

Velator Quay

Still a few Swifts flying in the strong breeze, and a possible Merlin hunting over the reed beds near the reserve.

Posted August 14th, 2018 at 1:12 pm by Alan Denzey in General Birding

Monday 13th August 2018


A Swift was spotted flying in a westerly direction this evening (19:20), over Preston, Paignton, followed by 2 House Martins.

Posted August 13th, 2018 at 8:33 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Upper Tamar Lake

Low water level = mud, and conditions at the top end are ideal for waders. This evening at 7.00 were 1 Pectoral Sandpiper, 2 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 13 Dunlin and 3 Ringed Plover. Surprisingly only 2 Common Sandpiper around the perimeter of the lake.

Posted August 13th, 2018 at 8:14 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding


Single swift seen this afternoon about 3 pm halfway between Appledore and Northam.

Posted August 13th, 2018 at 5:28 pm by Robert Morgan in General Birding

A successful early morning at Broadsands

A pleasant autumnal morning produced several Mediterranean gulls, plus one solitary dunlin. All in all a good start to the week.

Posted August 13th, 2018 at 4:48 pm by PHILIP L. FAIRCLOUGH in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

New in, Whinchat & 4 Willow Warblers. Also: Spotted Flycatcher, Stock Dove, Shag, 3 Common Sandpipers, 3 or 4 Greenshanks, 23 Little Egrets & 20 Mandarin Ducks.

Posted August 13th, 2018 at 2:58 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Good number of birds this bright morning. Curlew, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Dunlin, Spoonbill, Common Sandpiper, Marsh Harrier, etc

Spotted Redshank     Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank                                        Spotted Redshank

Posted August 13th, 2018 at 2:27 pm by Colin Scott in General Birding

East Soar

Relatively quiet this morning: 300 Herring Gull, 3 LBB Gull, Green Woodpecker - migrant, 40 Swallow, 23 Stonechat, 3 Wheatear, 11 Whitethroat, 8 Willow Warbler, 54 Goldfinch.

Posted August 13th, 2018 at 1:59 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Sunday 12th August 2018

Busy hour at BGM

Despite the forecast of heavy rain and thunder the weather didn't deter the bird life at Bowling Green Marsh this morning. Upon arrival the Spoonbill was present and within a short period a passaging Osprey put everything up. Once settled back several species were noted. Green Sandpiper, Black Swans, Ruff, Dunlin, Med Gull, Ringed Plovers. House and Sand martins were feeding low over the water. All in all a very good couple of hours.

Spoonbill and passaging Osprey.
Spoonbill and passaging Osprey.

Posted August 12th, 2018 at 8:34 pm by John Wilkes in General Birding

Broadsands, Paignton

Broadsands this afternoon

13+ Great Black Backed Gull, 2 Lesser Black Backs, 2 Med Gulls one juvenile and one 2nd year, 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Heron, 1 Little Egret, 3 Oyster Catcher, 1 Buzzard.

Well out to sea 15 plus Gannet.



Posted August 12th, 2018 at 7:09 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Exeter Osprey

An Osprey flew over the Double Locks NW towards Exeter at 11.55, having disturbed all the gulls at Matford Business Park. A Hobby was seen briefly later and one or two Swifts were with House Martins in the same area.

Posted August 12th, 2018 at 5:14 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Hopes Nose

Hopes Nose 715-1130am-11 Balearic Shears, 5 Arctic Skua , 3 Bonxie, Arctic Tern, 12 Common Tern, 25 Sandwich Tern, 30 Manx, 2 Med Gull, 23 Common Scoter, 2 Ringed Plover on rocks

Posted August 12th, 2018 at 4:01 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

2 Willow Tit at the hide.

Posted August 12th, 2018 at 2:18 pm by Rodney Mudge in General Birding

Saturday 11th August 2018


7 med gulls 4 ads,1st, 2 juvenile. Many hundreds of gulls feeding in estuary and off Instow beach where at least 11 more adult and 11 juvenile Meds were active.Seems  south devon etc are getting the lions share of this species so far. 

Posted August 11th, 2018 at 9:31 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Berry Head

Seawatching 0930hrs-3pm with Dave Dawe and Nigel Hewitt: 1 ad Long-tailed Skua (lingered for over 1 hr), 1 Arctic Skua, 1 Great Skua, 34 Balearic & 47 Manx Shearwaters, 7 Med Gulls, 2 juv Yellow-legged Gulls.

LTS BrryHd110818ML1 LTS BrryHd110818ML2

Posted August 11th, 2018 at 9:18 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Slapton Sands

204 Mediterranean Gulls on the beach this afternoon in a large gull flock south of the memorial car park, c95% juveniles. Presumably many more in the gull flocks towards Strete Gate. A good couple of thousand Herring Gulls and 300+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls also on the beach with 73 Sanderlings and 20 plus Sandwich Terns. Offshore at least 5 and maybe as many as 9 Arctic Skuas keeping everyone nervous. Encouraging to see reasonable numbers of Kittiwakes including many juvs. Plenty of whitebait just offshore bringing in the Mackeral. Blue-fin Tuna reported yesterday off Start Point.

Posted August 11th, 2018 at 6:33 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding


The Wood Sandpiper still out on the scrape late morning.

In the reserve, only one juv Canada Goose left - the others have been encouraged to fly out by the adults. This one isn't keen on the flying malarkey!

I was grateful, for a change, to a Blue Tit today. (Normally they just bite me!) but this one flew into an Elder tree and when I focussed the binoculars on it to check what it was, the first bird I saw was a cracking Garden Warbler. Normally only see them coming out of a mist net. Then a male Blackcap started taking a few berries. Dismal conditions meant only one Butterfly seen.

Posted August 11th, 2018 at 1:30 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Friday 10th August 2018

Broadsands, Paignton


A late afternoon ~ evening visit to Broadsands for the high tide, two Ringed Plover flushed from close to the sea wall by the rising tide, a very elegant looking Wader which I suspect was a Greenshank flew round the bay and overhead, two Dunlin flew across the bay landing below the far cliffs, one of two Redshank landed on the lower part of the sea wall.

A good mix of Gulls with at least ten Mediterranean gulls the first of which arrived just on 5pm, mostly juveniles with three older birds.



Posted August 10th, 2018 at 9:19 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


Today 2 Sandwich Terns and a Juv Common Gull were feeding along the tide race. Loafing on the rocks was a Juv Med Gull, I think? At least 5 Herring Gulls with a metal BTO leg ring. The recent adult Herring Gull with numbered leg ring was ringed in Hastings as a Chick in 2006  & not Sighted in 12 years til last Wk in Ilfracombe. Where do they go? 

juv Mediterranean Gull ? with Herring gull
juv Mediterranean Gull ? with Herring gull  - Eds - yes it is

Posted August 10th, 2018 at 7:28 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding


A sweep of the Torbay beaches produced the following interesting gulls etc today:

Broadsands: 42 Mediterranean Gulls

Goodrington: 6 Mediterranean Gulls, 1 Common Gull & 1 juv Yellow-legged Gull.

Paignton: 1 Mediterranean Gull

Preston: 20 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Sandwich Terns, 3 Turnstone

Torquay: no Mediterranean Gulls!

Posted August 10th, 2018 at 3:12 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Juvenile Little Stint at BGM this lunchtime. Juvenile Spoonbill still, 2 Green Sandpipers and the escaped Snow Goose.

Posted August 10th, 2018 at 2:43 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding


Wood Sandpiper still this morning.

Dipper in the stream nearby - the first for many weeks coinciding with there actually being enough water in the stream after the overnight rain.

Posted August 10th, 2018 at 1:45 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


Yesterday evening : 46 Mediterranean Gulls (moistly juvs) including the leucistic juvenile again & 1 Yellow-legged Gull juvenile.

Posted August 10th, 2018 at 8:06 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Thursday 9th August 2018

BGM high tide

Among the usual suspects - the Spoonbill showed well but distant and intermittently. Marsh Harrier (saw one - two reported) and the Leucistic B H Gull and a Ruff ( both spotted by Kieth Birchall)

Leucistic Black Headed Gull
Leucistic Black Headed Gull

Posted August 9th, 2018 at 7:32 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding


Wood Sandpiper again on the main scrape early morning.

Posted August 9th, 2018 at 4:49 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

The juvenile Spoonbill still at BGM this lunchtime. Sleeping as usual.

Posted August 9th, 2018 at 3:35 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Soar Mill Valley

Today's tally included Great Spotted Woodpecker, Tree Pipit, Wheatear, 32 Stonechat (mostly juvs), 5 Sedge Warbler, 25 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, Garden Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 21 Willow Warbler, 65 House Sparrow & 80 Linnet.

Posted August 9th, 2018 at 2:12 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Wednesday 8th August 2018

Otter Estuary, Budleigh Salterton

A Wood Sandpiper on the estuary this evening along with 3 Juv Med. Gulls, one with a green colour ring (probably a French bird).

Posted August 8th, 2018 at 8:41 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Grey Heron Count, Penhill Marsh, R.Taw. 1420.

The Grey Heron count at Penhill Marsh is still rising, from 17 on 21/7; 31 on 23/7; 31 on 25/7; 35 on 30/7; 37 on 2/8 and 53 today at 1420. This number far exceeds any max count in Devon Bird Report 2016. They all congregate either on the marsh or foreshore from Hollowcombe down river to directly opposite Ashford Sewage Works. 

Elsewhere on the river other than more common species were just 1 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 adult Med. Gulls.

Posted August 8th, 2018 at 7:34 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

The third Great Crested Grebe nest has produced, at the moment I can only see 2 chicks on her back, the other two broods have 4 juveniles which means three have been predated.
Great Crested Grebe 7 adults, 17 Canada, 1m Tufted, 1 Mute Swan, 1 Grey Heron, 28 Coot, 12 Swallow, 24 Moorhen, 4 House Martin, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Coal Tit, 2 Chaffinch, 1 Blue Tit.

The feeders are back up at the car park and the hide.

Posted August 8th, 2018 at 7:21 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

08-08-18 Burrator arboretum

Not much in the way of birds mainly butterflies ect. The surprise was 4 or 5 Juvenile Crossbills, but only 1 was showing to photograph, high up in the pine trees and light cloud behind, not for a good picture, so please excuse the quality.


Posted August 8th, 2018 at 3:38 pm by greg bradbury in General Birding

Occombe, Preston, Paignton

Expecting a quiet morning was delighted with what I saw and heard: 2 adult Kestrels, one with a kill and took towards the nest site. Adult & juvenile Buzzards calling, Green Woodpecker, 3 Chiffchaffs as well as plenty of young attempting their calls, a large flock of Long-tailed Tits with others mixed amongst them, 3 Wrens, Jay, and my 1st sight of a Whitethroat at Occombe this year. Also, encountered a very young Roe deer.

Posted August 8th, 2018 at 9:18 am by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Clennon Valley

Green Sandpiper flying over calling yesterday evening - only my third record here!.

Posted August 8th, 2018 at 8:24 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

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