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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Wednesday 26th September 2018

Berry Head kayak trip

4 Balearic Shearwater

4 Common Terns inc one (fw) sat on sea 2 miles off Berry Head

13+ Harbour porpoise

Common Tern
Common Tern

Harbour porpoise
Harbour porpoise

Posted September 26th, 2018 at 7:29 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 25th September 2018

Woodlark- Dawlish countryside Park

Woodlark feeding in Winter Barley at 11.45am,  25/9

Several flight views from first field from car park, then flew to field with turbine and lost to view

Posted September 25th, 2018 at 3:04 pm by paul barker in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Blaxton Meadow

At low tide the Cattle Egret was roosting on one of the islands in the meadow before flying off North.

Posted September 25th, 2018 at 2:49 pm by Martin Phillips in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Middle Soar/Soar Mill Valley/Southdown Farm

Six species of raptor this morning included female Merlin and Hobby hunting over Soar Mill Valley but not together! Movements of 270 Swallow, 320 Skylark & 370 Meadow Pipit. Also: 8 Ringed Plover, 2 Red-legged Partridge, 25 Stock Dove, 5 House Martin, White Wagtail, 5 Wheatear, Whitethroat, 9 Blackcap, 8 Chiffchaff, 60 Goldfinch & 360 Linnet.

Non-avian: 4 Roe Deer - male, female & 2 yearlings; 7 Wall Brown & 36 Red Admiral.

Posted September 25th, 2018 at 2:23 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 24th September 2018

Horsey Island

An absolutely cracking late aft / early evening on R.Caen & Horsey Island with the flood tide.

1 Cattle Egret showing well in the crystal clear evening light on Horsey.

Posted September 24th, 2018 at 7:21 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

East & Middle Soar

A good day of vis mig but nothing like Start Bay yesterday!! Tally included 700 Swallow moving east, 800 Meadow Pipit & 210 Skylark grounded, 6 House Martin, 11 Wheatear  9 Ringed Plover, Dunlin, 2 Whinchat, 16 Stonechat, 18 Blackcap & 350 Linnet. All this attracted 5 species of raptor inc. the first Merlin of the autumn (possibly 2). 

Non-avian; 8 Sika Deer stag.

Posted September 24th, 2018 at 4:40 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 23rd September 2018

Start Bay/Slapton Ley

The wind dropped at 1.30pm and the sun came out triggering a massive passage of Swallows! Watching from the Monument Car Park 2pm-5pm birds were moving strongly NE along the coast over the sea as far as I could see and along the beach: peak passage was 500/minute,  estimate of 40,000 Swallows  conservative in the three hours I counted, birds still streaming past when I left and over the Ley and fields inland to Slapton Viillage, a handul of House Martins and Sand Martins with them. Highlight on the sea was a 1W Black Guillemot in flight and settled. Also 6 Eider, 7 Common Scotor, 1 Arctic Skua, 3 Manx and 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 50+ Sandwich terns amongst large numbers of gulls offshore. Earlier 2 juv/1W Yellow-legged Gulls on the lower Ley. Reed Warbler, 4 Reed Buntings,  2 Wheatears and a Whinchat. 

Posted September 23rd, 2018 at 6:22 pm by David Cope in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bolt Head

Wryneck along coast path between Starehole Bay and Overbecks this afternoon 14:45-15:00 at least. SX728368

Posted September 23rd, 2018 at 4:56 pm by Will Salmon in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Start Bay / Point

In Start Bay a flock of 5 Eider, all females, flew south off the Memorial Car Park at 07:50. Largest number I have seen here for a long time. When the rain eased I went up to Start Point. There were 12 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs and a Willow Warbler in a small sheltered spot in the farm. Elsewhere 2 Wheatears, 150 Meadow Pipits ( grounded ) , Grey Wagtail and 10 White Wagtails.

Posted September 23rd, 2018 at 1:04 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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