Devon Bird Sightings from 8th–14th September 2018

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

Friday 14th September 2018

White Bridge Budleigh Salterton 14th Sept

Five dabchicks busy fishing viewed from the bridge.

Posted September 14th, 2018 at 5:19 pm by Patrick Case in General Birding

Broadsands and South Brent

Two Mediterranean Gulls at Broadsands this morning, one second winter and an adult being the recently reported ringed bird RLN4 green ring and ringed in France that seems to be a regular around Torbay.


Ten Great Black Backs one being a juvenile, four Oyster Catcher, Pied Wagtail, Goldfinch (on the beach) House Martins and Swallows overhead.

Back home at South Brent, last evening three Tawny owls, this morning the Hobby continues to visit (image from last evening) Jay, two Raven and the seasons first two Chiffchaff in the garden.

Posted September 14th, 2018 at 4:53 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

East Soar

Spent the morning at East soar sat watching the hedgerows, nice to see a firecrest and the usual migrants, whitethrats and blackcaps.

Whitethroat Blackcap Firecrest
Whitethroat                         Blackcap                                      Firecrest

Posted September 14th, 2018 at 4:45 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding


15 Dunlin, 7 Ringed Plover, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit and 9 Mediterranean Gull (5 ad W, 3 1st W and 1 2nd W) along the beach at high tide near the sewage pipe this morning. Chiffchaffs calling in the bushes and 5 Swallow over heading west, also a Clouded Yellow butterfly.

Posted September 14th, 2018 at 3:20 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

1 juv Curlew Sandpiper in with the Dunlin flock from the viewing platform this lunchtime.

Posted September 14th, 2018 at 2:24 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Pallid Harrier - Colaton Raleigh Common

Juvenile Pallid Harrier was present on the edge of the grenade range on  Colaton Raleigh Common at 7am this morning. It flew low and fast SW and was not seen again by 08:30.

Posted September 14th, 2018 at 9:22 am by Fraser C in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 13th September 2018


No sign of the Buff-breasted Sandpipers, but the juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper was still present. Details and photos at

Posted September 13th, 2018 at 10:54 pm by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Driving to my field this morning at the back end of Codden Hill, all of a sudden there were Swallows everywhere and another bird which dropped into the road in front of me. I had to stop in order not to run it over. it took off revealing a large whit patch at the base of it's tail and landed in a nearby tree. Not exactly where I would have expected to see a Wheatear, a country lane surrounded by farmland.

Posted September 13th, 2018 at 8:40 pm by Robert Morgan in General Birding

Pallid Harrier

A juvenile Pallid Harrier this evening hunting the area around the grenade range on Colaton Raleigh Common. Seen up until 1910 at least and will presumably go to roost in the area. More details and photos on later.

Posted September 13th, 2018 at 8:13 pm by Matt Knott in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Skern and around on the tide.

Dunlin, Turnstones, Whimbrel, 6 Wheatear, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, flocks of linnet, goldfinch, and Starlings, Stonechats, meadow pipits and a brown argos butterfly. Beautiful clear Autumn day. 

Posted September 13th, 2018 at 8:09 pm by John elvin in General Birding

Labrador Bay

Visited early today and plenty of Cirl Buntings about, especially juv/1st winter birds. Looks like they had a good breeding season.

Cirl Bunting juv/1st winter
Cirl Bunting juv/1st winter

Posted September 13th, 2018 at 8:06 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding


No sign of the Rose Coloured Starling this evening. There was a large flock of Starling feeding on the Blackberries. Perhaps the Rose Coloured Starling had been supper for the male Peregrine that was cruising around spooking all the other birds. He finally settled down on the salt marsh before disappearing up river looking for dessert! 20+ Pied Wagtails with a scattering of Ringed Plover feeding amongst the Samphire.

Posted September 13th, 2018 at 7:53 pm by Martin Unwin in General Birding


Pretty good numbers of some common migrants today: Spotted Flycatcher 11+, Wheatear 20, Whinchat 7, Blackcap 38, Chiffchaff 29, Willow Warbler 6, Swallow 35, Whitethroat 8 & House Martin 5. Also Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Nuthatch flying up Starehole!

Posted September 13th, 2018 at 7:26 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

East Soar

A good morning for the commoner migrants: 5 Ringed Plover, 32 Swallow, 50 Meadow Pipit, 4 Pied Wagtail, 7 Wheatear, 40+ Blackcap, 7 Whitethroat, 25 Willow Warbler, 26 Chiffchaff, 7 Spotted Flycatcher and right at the death a Pied Flycatcher in scrub along the top fields by car park.

Posted September 13th, 2018 at 2:11 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Shipley Bridge ~ Avon Dam

A walk up to the Avon Dam from Shipley Bridge Nr South Brent this morning gave 24 species, the highlight being an Osprey passing the front of the dam headed west.

Other species included two Dipper one ringed, (L ~ yellow ring over metal ring, R ~ red ring over green) Grey Wagtail, Chiffchaff, two Sparrow hawk, Stonechat, Heron, Kestrels showing well with four separate sightings, two Raven, Buzzard, Linnet and Goldfinch.

A reasonable crop of Rowan and Hawthorn berries bodes well for when the thrushes arrive.

Small number of butterflies.


Posted September 13th, 2018 at 12:50 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Wednesday 12th September 2018

Otter Estuary, Budleigh Salterton

Spotted Crake still present on the estuary this evening. Best viewed from the viewing platform south of the hide.

Posted September 12th, 2018 at 8:55 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding


The two Buff-breasted Sandpipers reported on Rare Bird Alert on Tuesday 11th were still present late morning today,  along with a Pectoral Sandpiper (Peter Slader et al.)! Further details to follow on the Lundy Birds blogspot (I don't yet have information on who first found the Buff-breasts on Tuesday.)

Posted September 12th, 2018 at 3:28 pm by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Generally quiet on the Skern this morning following a very high tide. Waders confined to Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Curlew of which there were c40 of each. However a small flock of Starling flew onto the saltmarsh to feed among which was a juv Rose-coloured Starling. 

Posted September 12th, 2018 at 3:16 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Blackhole Marsh

Apologies for the delay.

Yesterday at Blackhole Marsh hide, Seaton, wood sandpiper , green sandpiper and ruff. At  Colyford Common hide, despite or because of a very high tide and flooded fields, many black tailed godwit, one ringed plover, one greenshank and the ruff reappeared. All in all a very sastisfactory morning.

WOOD SANDPIPER                                RUFF                                  GREEN SANDPIPER

Posted September 12th, 2018 at 10:31 am by Philip L. Fairclough in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 11th September 2018


Summer reminders today with a Chiffchaff in full song and a Blackcap in sub-song. Odd.

Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail in the river nearby. 2 Kestrels over. And the first Swallows for a  few days.

Posted September 11th, 2018 at 7:25 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Berry Head

Sea Watch, 0:700 - 11:30 - 2 - 3 Gt Skua; 3 Arctic Skua (1 light, 1 dark & a very brown juv); 1 Sandwich Tern; c50 Balearic Shearwater; c20 Manx Shearwater; 1 Med Gull (1st w) steady stream of Kittiwake all am with one raft of 500 - 600 at 11:00.

At least 3 Harbour Porpoise close & 2 or 3 small groups of Common Dolphin far out.

3 Willow Warblers calling in scrub between water trough and car park.

Posted September 11th, 2018 at 5:01 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

A brief visit at lunch time was rewarded with 9 cattle egrets (possibly 10) with resting cows in field next to the Turf. The egrets flew onto Powderham Marshes at 13.35. Also imm marsh harrier.

Posted September 11th, 2018 at 2:57 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Torbay/Berry Head yesterday

4+ Balearic Shearwaters. Many more suspected (inc small flock)but no binos.

100+ Manx Shearwaters

5 Sandwich terns

300+kittiwake in flock. 2 with colour rings (see pic)

plus: 20 Common Dolphins, 10 Harbour Porpoise

Kittiwakes Common Dolphins
Kittiwakes                                  Common Dolphins

Posted September 11th, 2018 at 2:40 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 10th September 2018

Kingsbridge estuary

Osprey & couple of med gulls between frogmore creek & kingsbridge c

Posted September 10th, 2018 at 9:16 pm by Mike Moxon in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Not great numbers of birds in front of the hide at high tide, but a good range of species seen, go to my blog to read more

Grey Plover Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot and Oystercatcher
Grey Plover                                                       Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot and Oystercatcher

Posted September 10th, 2018 at 7:23 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Soar & Averton Gifford

Very quiet first thing at Soar, but by mid-morning things picked up a bit and eventually a sprinkling of migrants recorded: Grasshopper Warbler in Starehole, 3 Whinchats, 5+ Grey Wagtails, 4 Yellow Wagtails, 3+ White Wagtails, Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Sedge Warblers, 13 Blackcaps, 11 Chiffchaffs, 12 Whitethroats, 7 House Martins, Reed Bunting, 4 Wheatears, 6 Stock Doves & Roe Deer. 

Later, from the tidal road at Averton Gifford: 3 Greenshanks, Bar-tailed Godwit & 2 Black-tailed Godwits. 

Posted September 10th, 2018 at 6:27 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wryneck, Wembury Point

Brief view at 1.30pm, top of bramble in field between the pine trees and the coast path.

Posted September 10th, 2018 at 3:10 pm by Jacki and Kevin Solman in General Birding


Two Ospreys on River Tavy this morning one seen to fly up the river one in a tree eating a fish. 

Posted September 10th, 2018 at 1:35 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

Late post bowling green marsh Sunday 9th

Late post for bowling green marsh watched from 17:00 till 18:55

from the viewing platform, 1 juvenile curlew sandpiper among 450+ Dunlin, 6+ knot, 270+ redshank , 30+ ringed plover , 1 grey plover

from the hide 

great views of the juvenile marsh harrier as it caused chaos among the waders, 2 knot, 15+ Dunlin, 150+ redshank. 160+ curlew, 3 whimbrel, 101+ wigeon, 41+ pintail, 3 tufted duck, 1 sedge warbler, 1 water rail.

Posted September 10th, 2018 at 7:31 am by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Sunday 9th September 2018

Prawle & Beesands

Prawle very quiet, best being Whimbrel & Clouded Yellow. Beesands better with brilliant views of great White Egret in filght, 2 Hobbies, 150+ Kittiwakes offshore and DP Arctic Skua harrying them!.

Posted September 9th, 2018 at 10:28 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Plymouth Sound

16+ Sandwich |Terns on buoys beside Drake's Island today

Juvenile Sandwich Tern Adult Sandwich Tern Demanding offspring, patient parent
Juvenile Sandwich Tern               Adult Sandwich Tern              Demanding offspring, patient parent

Posted September 9th, 2018 at 9:44 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Huish this afternoon

About 4 p.m. the wood sandpiper was showing well and two dunlin appeared. Lots of pied/white wagtails and five bright yellow wagtails, on the near bank and around the horses. Two swallows went over, and a sparrowhawk  startled the teal before flying through the bars of the iron gate.

Posted September 9th, 2018 at 9:35 pm by Doug Herdson in General Birding

South Efford marsh

Just leaving the hide at 7:00pm tonight when 11 cattle egrets flew in, landed briefly then took off in the direction of Bantham. South Efford marsh

Cattle Egrets Cattle Egrets Cattle Egrets
Cattle Egrets                           Cattle Egrets                      Cattle Egrets

Posted September 9th, 2018 at 7:55 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Plym Estuary

On this afternoon’s high tide: 6 Greenshanks, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 38 Curlews, 6 Oystercatchers, 2nd-s Mediterranean Gull, Common Sandpiper, 17 Little Egrets & Stock Dove.

Posted September 9th, 2018 at 5:53 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

South Efford marsh 08/09/18 Evening

5 very distant yellow wagtails at South Efford marsh last night

Yellow wagtails
Yellow wagtails

Posted September 9th, 2018 at 3:47 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Slapton / Beesands

Cracking mornings birding started off with a fem/first calendar year Marsh Harrier ( dark bird ) flying over the bridge into the Higher Ley. Same bird as seen on 30/8. Now 3 Cattle Egrets with cattle in the field behind the Hartshorn Plantation ( look across from the memorial car park ). Lots of gulls on the beach between the car park and Torcross. At least 31 Mediterranean Gulls, 15 Sandwich Terns and a Common Tern. Best was a beautiful first calendar year Little Gull. Single Wheatear on the beach and a Yellow Wagtail overhead.

Went around to Beesands Ley where the Great White Egret still present in the back corner viewable from the seaward meadow ( not viewable from the hide ). Did one brief circuit of the ley. A Hobby almost continually on view hawking Dragonflies, joined a few times by a second bird. No Canada Geese which was nice but ley still not plastic free thanks to a Black Swan. Clouded Yellow seen on the meadow.

Posted September 9th, 2018 at 2:29 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Lopwell dam / Maristow

0900 - 1215:

6 Little grebe, 1 Great crested grebe, 3 Grey wagtail, 2 Common sandpiper, 1 Green sandpiper, 1 Kingfisher, 6 Red legged partridge in the lanes approaching Lopwell. 1 Osprey perched on a log in the Tavy estuary, flew down river at 1210.

Posted September 9th, 2018 at 1:39 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Saturday 8th September 2018

South Hams

A good day out in the South Hams. Wood Sandpiper still at South Huish Marsh early am. A Wryneck at East Soar late am along with good numbers of Blackcaps, Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs, a few Wheatears and Whinchats and at least one White Wagtail. Great Egret still at Beesands mid pm along with a juv Hobby busy hawking dragonflies.

Posted September 8th, 2018 at 8:23 pm by Andy Smith in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Torbay Gulls

I may be sticking my head on the block again, but this gull was at Broadsands this afternoon, much bigger than the near by Herring Gulls, massive beak and large head being notable features, from feed back on forums where I have posted the images I am being told that it is a Caspian Gull, if it is it's a first for me.


Also two Mediterranean Gulls and twenty eight Great Black Backs.

Two Sandwich Terns fishing off of Marine Parade, Paignton.

Berry Head lots of gulls moving off of the headland along with large numbers of Gannet, several Porpoise and a single Wheatear.

Posted September 8th, 2018 at 6:46 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Crossbill at Yennadon Down near Yelverton

Nice pair of Crossbills in the pines by the car park at Yennadon Down at 1730 today. Very vocal but mobile.

Posted September 8th, 2018 at 6:19 pm by Howard Ackford in General Birding


whinchat seen & photographed from east soar carpark


Posted September 8th, 2018 at 5:39 pm by patrick hawkins in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

East Soar

Nice to see a wryneck at Soar today and well done Andy for spotting it.

Wryneck Wryneck
Wryneck                                              Wryneck

Posted September 8th, 2018 at 4:26 pm by Richie Moore in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 06:55 till 10:00

A good morning around the marsh at last a few waders came in to the high tide roost which coincided with there being no Canada geese  on the marsh, but still low numbers with 250+ black tailed godwits, 130+ redshank, 30+ Dunlin, 8+ ringed plover, 18+ little egrets, 30+ pintail, 20+ wigeon , 1 water rail, 1 Buzzard, the long staying adult winter ruff showed well.

moved on to the viewing platform and soon picked up the juvenile curlew sandpiper amongst 250+ Dunlin, 32+ greenshank, then just after 08:30 an osprey flew from powderham towards turf and then at 08:40 another Osprey was picked up of exmouth hunting around the south end of the estuary.

then at 08:48 best birds of the morning 2 Glossy ibis flew in high from the east past the viewing platform and appeared to go down onto the marsh, so made way back to the hide initial look produced nothing but five minutes later they flew up from channel on far left hand side of main scrape flew over the hide heading towards exminster marsh ( they were relocated on exminster lagoon soon after ) 




Posted September 8th, 2018 at 11:25 am by Keith Birchall in General Birding

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