General Birding

Missing Devon rarity records 2018 UPDATE

We have had a good response to the request for missing descriptions for a number of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. Thank you to those who have made the effort to provide these.

However some descriptions remain outstanding meaning, 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 but the report deadline is pressing.

If you saw any of 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.

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 White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March
Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May
Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May
Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August
Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August
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


If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help us 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 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

Friday 21st September 2018


Juv 1st winter Grey Phalarope on mudflats just off yacht club this morning from 10.30.

Posted September 21st, 2018 at 1:46 pm by mike glover in General Birding


Whilst walking around the reserve this morning I looked out on the scrape and was delighted to see a single, unringed Spoonbill. although I was tucked into the trees it saw me and took flight - into the teeth of the strong south-westerly wind. I can't recall any other records this autumn in North Devon (sure I'm wrong!). In the reserve a large bird of prey resolved into a very low-flying Peregrine.

I suspect that it went yesterday but today I didn't see the last Canada Goose, so I guess it has finally jumped ship and I hope joined the rest of the gang out and about. It has been alone since the rest of the family left on 11th August.

Just as I was leaving a big Tit-flock started crossing the meadow and I counted at least 18 Blue Tits, 8 Long-tailed 4 Great, a Goldcrest and a Blackcap among them.

Posted September 21st, 2018 at 1:40 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Cockwood, Exe Estuary

Single swift over at 9.30 and wheatear on sea-wall.

Posted September 21st, 2018 at 11:13 am by John Waldon in General Birding

Thursday 20th September 2018


From the Hoe this afternoon, 2 each of Sandwich Terns and Mediterranean Gulls (ad + 2nd-w).

Plym Estuary - 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 7 Greenshanks, 128 Redshanks, 35 Curlews & a Stock Dove. 

Posted September 20th, 2018 at 8:24 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

An interesting last day at Seaton Wetlands.

A sparrowhawk on an unsuccessful sortie over Black Hole Marsh, a one legged greenshank, a goose which was recorded as a snow goose with which I would concur and the return of the wood sandpiper. All I have to do now is wait till next year to see what turns up then.




Posted September 20th, 2018 at 6:32 pm by philip l. fairclough in General Birding

Otter Valley, East Devon

5 Cattle Egret including 1 immature with dark legs, feet and bill with cattle in second field above Whitebridge at noon. Best seen from riverside path.   (Footpath from Whitebridge to sea front car park still closed for repairs).

Posted September 20th, 2018 at 1:50 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Wednesday 19th September 2018


7 Cattle Egrets and 1Gt White Egret

Posted September 19th, 2018 at 6:32 pm by Terry Goddard in General Birding

Grey Phalarope - South Huish Marsh - 19/09/2018

Nice to be able to point out a Grey Phalarope, I had just found,  to our Chairman and his wife visiting South Huish Marsh around mid-day today. Bird still present when I left mid- afternoon. Only a distant photo for me, no doubt one of the many subsequent visitors will be able to post a better image.

Grey Phalarope - South Huish Marsh - 19/09/2018
Grey Phalarope - South Huish Marsh - 19/09/2018

Posted September 19th, 2018 at 5:52 pm by Dave Pakes in General Birding

Taw Estuary - Pottington

Cycled along the Tarka trail to Barnstaple am. The Black & Bar-tailed Godwits (majority Black) were frantically searching for food in 40 to 50 mph gusts of wind with feathers ruffled & tails spread out for maintaining balance in the strong winds. Difficult to keep the camera steady!

Posted September 19th, 2018 at 4:44 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding


Hi Phil, I think your Wood Sandpiper is a Redshank....

Posted September 19th, 2018 at 7:55 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Tuesday 18th September 2018

Always expect the unexpected

Seaton Wetlands has been very quiet since my post last week but tonight the tables were turned. One wood sandpiper, two green sandpipers, one greenshank, one lapwing and a brief glimpse of a lone common snipe. i wonder what else I'll see before I go home in three days time. Watch this space.




Posted September 18th, 2018 at 10:31 pm by philip l. fairclough in General Birding


Barn Owl at dusk this evening , flying over road between Woodbury and Ebford. First for some time

Posted September 18th, 2018 at 10:12 pm by Roger Brooks in General Birding


The weather forecast for Thursday is for more rain and continuing high winds, making bird watching v difficult with little prospect of seeing anything. So the planned walk for Thursday is cancelled. If you have friends who don't use this web site would you please pass on this message. Thanks. 

Posted September 18th, 2018 at 7:42 pm by Geoffrey Green in General Birding


Birded 11.30 - 2.30 2 Ruff (1 juv, 1 moulting adult), 7+ Pintail,, Kingfisher hovered by the hide for a few seconds, Tufted Duck, Stock Dove and a late influx of Wigeon, 6 Greenshank. From the viewing platform some distant Dunlin, Oyks and a GBB Gull. Goosemoor had around half a dozen Dunlin and 46 Greenshank.

Ruff BGM
Ruff BGM

Ruff BGM
Ruff BGM

Greenshank Goosemoor
Greenshank Goosemoor

Posted September 18th, 2018 at 3:20 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Monday 17th September 2018

Occombe, Preston

Late morning visit produced 4 Swallows, Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Buzzard, Jay. Long-tailed Tit & 3 female Pheasants.

Posted September 17th, 2018 at 9:16 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Berry Head

Sea watch with MD from 06.45 to 16.45 produced the following. Great Shearwater 6, Sooty Shearwater 2, Balearic Shearwater 205, Pomarine Skua 1, Arctic Skua 18, Bonxie 31. Also Black Tern 9, Common Tern 8, Sandwich Tern 10, Little Gull 2 and Med. Gull 3.  

Posted September 17th, 2018 at 6:37 pm by Clive Mason in General Birding

South Huish

1 Juvenile Great Skua flew onto the marsh, it stayed for 5 minutes and then moved to the Chanel behind Bob's island out of view. Also 7 Yellow wagtails, 1 White wagtail and 2 Cattle Egrets.

Posted September 17th, 2018 at 4:09 pm by Terry Goddard in General Birding

Exe - Starcross

Osprey - seen from Mudbank, landed on exposed shingle and sandbank between Starcross and Cockwood with catch;  harassed by ever increasing number of Crows, and eventually flew off up-river;  lost over Powderham.

Posted September 17th, 2018 at 3:21 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding


Exmouth Imperial rec. Ospray fishing on ebb tide bagged a mullet then flew off towards starcross chased by gulls and crows.

Posted September 17th, 2018 at 3:12 pm by eric in General Birding

East Soar

Most interest on the high fields before the fog rolled in: Golden Plover, 8 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin, 600 Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 8 Pied Wagtail, 13 Alba/White Wagtail, Whinchat, 150 Linnet and the first autumn movement of 66 Skylark. Scrub migrants very poor just Whitethroat & 3 Blackcap.

Non-avian: Brown Hare & MF Roe Deer.

Posted September 17th, 2018 at 2:01 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Sunday 16th September 2018

16/09/18 South Efford marsh

Counted 22 black tailed godwit and a bar tailed godwit outside the hide late afternoon also several greenshank.

Bar-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit

Black-tailed Godwits
Black-tailed Godwits


Posted September 16th, 2018 at 8:28 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding


Driving into Croyde from the Georgeham direction late this afternoon, a large - 50+ - flock of House Martins swirling over the east side of the village.

Posted September 16th, 2018 at 7:37 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


The meeting point for this week's planned walk at ORCOMBE has been changed to the Foxholes Long Term car park, which is on the front and just left of the Lifeboat Station. Please note this change and let any "non web" friends know. Also, the weather forecast for Thursday looks stormy. If this firms up on Wednesday I'll send out another post on Wednesday. 

Posted September 16th, 2018 at 7:16 pm by Geoffrey Green in General Birding

Slapton Ley Hobby

Hobby seen going after dragonflies from Ireland Hide top of ley

Posted September 16th, 2018 at 6:48 pm by Ian Stone in General Birding


2 Hobbies flying rapidly south east over Swallow Way, Cullompton at 2.30pm.

Posted September 16th, 2018 at 6:29 pm by Olly Mears in General Birding

elberry cove

a med. gull sitting on 1 of the buoys "dividing" elberry cove as I swam right alongside it ( on Thursday).  they have been appearing at elberry more frequently.

Posted September 16th, 2018 at 9:15 am by graham folkerd in General Birding


I agree the raptor in Phil's correspondent's photo is a common buzzard. Also the bunting is a yellowhammer.

Posted September 16th, 2018 at 1:54 am by Lowell Mills in General Birding

Saturday 15th September 2018


Phil - I think your raptor photograph is a Buzzard. The Bunting has a large tick on it's head. This is quite common, and they eventually fall off.

Posted September 15th, 2018 at 10:18 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

A quiet week just got better

After the flurry on Black hole Marsh earlier in the week, things have quietened down till last night and today. Last night a new birder spotted this bird on a fence post some distance away. i couldn't tell from the photo whether it's the elusive Pallid Harrier or an osprey. Maybe someone with better eyesight can identify it?

Tonight at Seaton Marsh hide, nothing of note except this juvenile reed bunting on the pathway. The apparent growth on its head perhaps explains why it spent most of its time on the floor, allowing me to get within ten feet.

Posted September 15th, 2018 at 9:05 pm by philip l. fairclough in General Birding


Lovely view of a Hobby this afternoon over Bableigh nr Landkey which then headed off south over the back of Codden Hill.

Posted September 15th, 2018 at 8:46 pm by Robert Morgan in General Birding


1 Hobby, moving fast, a little inland of Thurlestone, early pm.

Posted September 15th, 2018 at 7:37 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A few waders on the high tide including: Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Common Sandpipers, 24 Turnstones, Ringed Plover, 8 Oystercatchers, 41 Curlews & 5 Greenshanks. Also 22 Little Egrets, 18 Grey Herons, 9 Ring-necked Parakeets & a Stock Dove. 

Posted September 15th, 2018 at 6:31 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Working around the reserve today with Ben and Andy. Had a few nets open not in any great expectation of catching much. So Robin, Blackcap and Goldcrest (first this autumn) were about par. Three retraps including a male Bullfinch in heavy moult.

Nearly 40 species recorded in over or near the reserve, including one of the resident Buzzards, a Kestrel, and a flyover dark Marsh Harrier. A few Swallows over Sherpa Marsh. And, the first since 21st June - a Black-tailed Godwit on the scrape, morning only. Out there too were some Wigeon (5) and a couple of Shoveler.

In the river singing Dipper, a Kingfisher and a juv Grey Wagtail.

As we were packing up to leave a large Tit flock started moving about - mostly Blue and Long-tailed, but Great, and Coal also. In with them were some Chiffchaffs, a couple of Blackcaps, a Greenfinch, and a Willow Warbler. (Where were they when I had the nets open on Thursday!)  About 50 birds in all.

Posted September 15th, 2018 at 6:13 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


Solitary common Gull on the beach by the slipway.

Posted September 15th, 2018 at 5:32 pm by Richard Yeats in General Birding

Colaton Raleigh Common, East Devon

Visited the grenade range area between 8-9.30am this morning but no sightings of P. Harrier.  Two Kestrel in same area plus Stonechats, M. Pipits, Skylark and a numbers of Bullfinch at copse near car park.

Posted September 15th, 2018 at 11:16 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

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