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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

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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