Devon Bird Sightings from 1st–7th January 2019

Taw & Torridge Field Meeting - Sunday 23rd June 2019

Please be advised that the Taw & Torridge Field Meeting on Sunday 23rd June has had to change venue. The woodland is off limits at Hartland Forest so the meeting will now take place at SS373193, Landcross to Powlers Piece road. Clear fell area before Powlers Piece. Look out for Roger Doble and Dave Paul who will park up and look out for members. Meet at 9.30pm. Further information can be obtained from Norman Briden 01271371072 

Posted June 13th at 11:26 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Breeding Birds

Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Many of these receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young. 

You should also apply these principles to vulnerable species without the wider legal protection. 

Although some species may be found breeding at numerous locations, please keep information about them limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting and Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and, as appropriate, the RSPB

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of disturbance and persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds. Unfortuately this can involve people wanting to photograph or obtain close views of the  birds, as well as eg egg collectors. 

Every year editors on this site have to remove or edit posts which breach the code outlined here. Please play your part in making this unnecessary. 

Thank you.

Posted March 20th at 3:43 pm 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

Thursday 3rd January 2019

Baggy Point

Near sunset on a walk around the peninsula, a kestrel, 9 Cormorants, a couple of oystercatchers, Common gulls (I think ) Black- backed gull (not sure which )and after much deliberation a floating flock of Common Scoter (I think).

Posted January 3rd at 8:46 pm by Beth W in General Birding

Velator down to Horsey Island area

This morning, on a walk down the river from Velator I saw Long tailed Tits, a pair of Shelducks, Chaffinch, a Bullfinch pair, several noisy Redshanks, a large flock of Lapwing in a field, a Buzzard on its post, a Great Tit, a few Curlew (I think) , a small flock of Scoters (I think) , mute swans, small flock of Sandpipers, a small flock of starlings in the field, goldfinch, and possibly Reed Buntings and a Meadow pipit. 

Posted January 3rd at 8:43 pm by Beth W in General Birding


Nowhere near half of the Gulls feeding on Mullacott farmland today. Interestingly I surveyed the nearby industrial estate last July for nesting Gulls and couldn't find a single pair.  

Mostly Herring Gulls.
Mostly Herring Gulls.

Posted January 3rd at 7:43 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding


4 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers and 1 Red-throated Diver off Broadsands this morning.

Posted January 3rd at 7:24 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding


Some excitement as I arrived at the reserve this afternoon: a large collection of mobbing Corvids, so I stopped a little way off and looked in. A Buzzard was perched on a telegraph pole ignoring all the activity of 5/6 Magpies 6/7 Crows and about 20 Jackdaws. Some of which were diving down to the ground which I couldn't see. As I arrived at the  gate a second Buzzard took off from inside the SWW compound inside and flew off carrying a prey item. I didn't get a clear view of this but several of the Corvids followed it away. I did my usual walk around and at the far side of the reserve on a pile of brushwood, was a dead Magpie. Haven't seen one of these predated before. At least 7 Magpies continued with their raucous tirade as I pottered around for the next hour or so. Not much else of note.

Posted January 3rd at 7:18 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Powderham Marsh and Exminster Marsh

Of note 7-8 Cirl Bunting on path to Powderham Viewing Point, the 4 Barnacle Geese that were on Exminster Marsh have relocated to Powderham Marsh, small Linnet and Chaffinch flocks, Pintail, Tufted Duck, Snipe and Kestrel.

Exminster Marsh had huge Wigeon, flocks, Teal and Shoveller, lots of Brent geese, about 15 Greylags. Off Turf  - Red Breasted Mergansers, Lots of Avocet and a Kingfisher. Off Topsham rec - pair Goldeneye, Black Swan at Topsham Quay still. On way back to Exminster Marsh car park - Stonechat and Meadow pipit.

Cirl Bunting Powderham MarshBarnacle Geese distant Powderham MarshGoldeneye - distant off Topsham Rec
Cirl Bunting Powderham Marsh    Barnacle Geese Powderham Marsh    Goldeneye - off Topsham Rec

Posted January 3rd at 5:52 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

At high tide, birds on Blaxton Meadow included 195 Dunlins, 100+ Redshanks, 9 Oystercatchers, 32 Curlews, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Greenshanks & a Kingfisher. 

Also: Jack Snipe, 6 Snipe, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 5 Ring-necked Parakeets (1 blue), sinensis Cormorant (adult), 4 Mandarin Ducks, Chiffchaff, Sparrowhawk, 2 Wigeon, Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander (both redheads) & 3 Little Grebes.  

Nearby, a Lesser Whitethroat in Mount Gould Avenue (east end). Only the tac call heard.

Posted January 3rd at 5:30 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Middle Soar to Southdown Farm & South Huish.

Soar: Yet another site  record count of 184 Yellowhammer and a respectable 85 Cirl Bunting. Also: 25 Gannet off Soar Mill Cove, Lapwing, Snipe, 870 Skylark, 32 Blackbird & 42 House Sparrow.

South Huish: 61 Teal, 36 Wigeon, Blackwit & 10 Ringed Plover.

Posted January 3rd at 4:18 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Waxwing, Plymouth

Waxwing still showing very well this morning in Central Park, Plymouth - light still awful though.

Posted January 3rd at 4:18 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding


Black Redstart in garden of large white house 150m from coast guard bridge. Seen last couple of years in same place. Firecrest along Thompsons path. Pair of Dartford Warbler Ideford common.

Posted January 3rd at 3:56 pm by Nick Workman in General Birding

Ringmore, Shaldon

4 Red-Breasted Mergansers (2 prs) seen from flood defence barrier at the end of The Strand, Ringmore.

Posted January 3rd at 11:40 am by Gary Bolton in General Birding

butterdon hill, dartmoor (bittaford)

yesterday - sandpiper (presume common) flushed on summit of hill. otherwise, devoid of anything.

Posted January 3rd at 10:56 am by graham folkerd in General Birding


male Black Cap in my Barnstaple garden for at least a month, this morning pleased to see a Female aswell

Posted January 3rd at 9:51 am by Robert Cudmore in General Birding

Wednesday 2nd January 2019

anchorwood band and the tarka trail

3 common sandpiper, 2 male goosander, 3 female.Large flock of curlew, 2 kingfishers,godwits,lapwing,redshank and goldcrest by the bridge.

Common Sandpipermale goosanderfemale goosander.
Common Sandpiper                            male goosander                       female goosander.

Posted January 2nd at 8:14 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Re: Whistlandpound Snow Goose?

I think it was decided a few years ago now that this bird is a hybrid Ross/Barnacle Goose. It has been seen many many times on and around Taw estuary in company with Canada Geese for quite a number of years.

Posted January 2nd at 7:43 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Capstone Point

2 more close up photos taken on the 27/12/2018 of the very tame imm Shag standing alongside the recreational rod & line fishermen at Capstone Point.


Posted January 2nd at 5:28 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Wistlandpound Snow Goose?

A picture to go with yesterday's posting of suspected Snow Goose at Wistlandpound

Wistlandpound: Snow Goose?
Wistlandpound: Snow Goose?

Posted January 2nd at 5:21 pm by Jonathan Nicholl in General Birding

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford sewage works. 1345-15.30 High tide 15.35.

Golden Plover 14, just off Pottington Ind.Est. 21 dark-bellied Brent Geese just off Penhill Marsh. 32 Black-tailed Godwits; 5 Grey Plover; 1 Sanderling and 4 Dunlin just off Ashford S.Wrks.

Ringed Black-headed Gull on shoreline at Ashford S.W White ring on right tarsus with black alpha/numerics coded TTY3. Metal I/d ring on left tarsus. Reported to BTO. Believed from Polish ringing scheme.

Posted January 2nd at 5:02 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding


Quick visit this afternoon: lots of Redshank, a few Dunlin and a Greenshank. The Glossy Ibis was roosting in the trees at the top of the creek, with one Little Egret.

Posted January 2nd at 4:30 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Preston sea front, Torbay

2 Mediterranean gulls on rocks and the road at the north end - 1 adult, 1 2nd winter. Oystercatchers, turnstones and a rock pipit on rocks, and 2 great crested grebe offshore.

2nd winter Mediterranean gull
2nd winter Mediterranean gull

Posted January 2nd at 3:19 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Plymouth Waxwing

As with all the other posts from today the reported single Waxwing showing well in Central Park opposite the Putting Green Cafe.


Posted January 2nd at 2:56 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


Male Black Redstart around Lidl, Rock Pipit and a very tame Cormorant begging for food from fishermen at Capstone Point.

Black RedstartCormorant
Black Redstart                                       Cormorant

Eds: The Cormorant is actually an imm Shag among other features

note thin bill and clear barring on wing coverts

Posted January 2nd at 2:43 pm by Kim Beaver in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

02-01-19 Waxwing Central Park Plymouth

The Waxwing at Central Park in Plymouth was showing very very well, it did not seem to be too worried about all the photographers around snapping away, staying on the berry branches and feeding.

Waxwing    Waxwing


Posted January 2nd at 1:55 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Plymouth Central Park

Waxwing at Central Park Plymouth by Putting Cafe

Single Waxwing  Waxwing  Waxwing
Single Waxwing


Posted January 2nd at 1:46 pm by Barry Rankine in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Baggy Point

am - At Baggy Point 28 Common Scoter (1m + 27f ), 2 Eider & 3 Red throated Diver.

Posted January 2nd at 12:45 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding


Waxwing still Central Park by Putting Cafe , showing well as they do.

Single Waxwing
Single Waxwing

Posted January 2nd at 12:01 pm by Barry Rankinebb in General Birding


The Yellow-browed Warbler was again at Broadsands, back of 1st car park this morning with 2-3 collybita Chiffchaffs & 2 Blackcaps.

Posted January 2nd at 11:53 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

New years day Slapton

Nice day at Slapton with some nice birds on the sea, red throated divers, a black necked grebe, a distant great northern diver and a couple of goldeneye on the ley.

Coot with a large water snailGoldeneyeRed-throated Diver
Coot with a large water snail              Goldeneye                              Red-throated Diver

Posted January 2nd at 5:42 am by Richie Moore in General Birding

Tuesday 1st January 2019

Wistlandpound SnowGoose?

8.50, bird, assumed to be Snow Goose, with Canada Geese, showing dark wing tips, with grey areas on upper wing, to mostly white body. Bill pinkish, overall petitecompared with Canadas.

Posted January 1st at 11:25 pm by Jonathan Nicholl in General Birding

Around Exeter

Happy New year to everyone. Not great birding today - too many people/dog walkers about. Higher Cemetery was the best. Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker (no Jays) Redwing, Goldcrest and Collared Dove the highlights. Usual Dipper, Green Sandpiper on Northbrook. - Lots of Snipe 7+ on Matford Marshes.

Green Woodpecker video -

Green WoodpeckerCollared DoveRedwing
Green Woodpecker                          Collared Dove                                          Redwing

Posted January 1st at 8:38 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Glossy Ibis

Monday 31st ,11.00 - Glossy Ibis with Little Egret, Fremington Pill.

Posted January 1st at 8:30 pm by Fiona Mackay-Moffatt in General Birding

Stover and around the Exe

Stover Country Park ~ just on first light, some 30 species including four Mandarin duck, nine Goosander, two Treecreeper, two male Bullfinch, Marsh Tit, Greater Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, Snipe, Siskin, Goldcrest, Mistle and Song Thrush.

Matford Marsh, Exeter ~ Chiffchaff, Long tailed Tit, Snipe, a good range of birds on the flooded areas, including good numbers of Wigeon and Black Tailed Godwit.

Powderham ~ overlooking the Exe from by the pedestrian over bridge, Little Egret, Heron, Dunlin, Curlew, flocks of Brent Geese, Knott, Sanderling, Lapwing and a male Red Breasted Merganser.


RSPB Bowling Green Marsh ~ twelve Greylag Geese, Pintail duck, 350 plus Black Tailed Godwit (three ringed birds) Lapwing.

The Goat Walk, Topsham ~ Large numbers of Dunlin, one male Red Breasted Merganser, a count of 235 Avocet and one Common Gull.

And this evening a Tawny owl calling very close to the house at South Brent.

Posted January 1st at 8:09 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Woodbury Common

Ringtail Hen Harrier hunting on Woodbury Common this morning before heading off South West.

Posted January 1st at 7:43 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Ashford Strand

Very relaxed cycle ride in warm sunshine this morning along the Tarka trail from Braunton to Barnstaple. Lots of birds on the Taw Estuary to enjoy including this lovely pair of Goosanders.

Posted January 1st at 6:21 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding


firecrest   was seen in the garden  again  this morning.

Posted January 1st at 5:59 pm by Margaret- Phillips in General Birding

Tawny Owls

Regular hootings of at lest 2 Tawnies with 1 Twitting Gribbleford, EX203LX

Posted January 1st at 5:21 pm by Sue Clark in General Birding

Waxwing, Central Park, Plymouth

Good views of the Waxwing late this afternoon busily eating cotoneaster berries by the pitch and putt hut in Central Park, Plymouth - a few record shots attached in the fading light

Posted January 1st at 5:18 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding


Very active and vocal raven at nest in small group of mature conifers in North Lew are of West Devon.

Posted January 1st at 5:03 pm by Sue Clark in General Birding

Dipper on the Dart

Great start to 2019. Saw a Dipper on the Dart along the woodland walk from the station towards the village, 1st time in about 8 years. On the return walk caught a glimpse of a Kingfisher as it flew over a pair of Mallards. From the bridge spotted a pair of Goosanders.

Posted January 1st at 4:24 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Coney gut rock park Barnstaple

Sad to see single dead female mute swan at above location should these be reported.

Posted January 1st at 3:25 pm by Richard Yeats in General Birding

Great Northern Diver at Decoy CP

Fantastic views this afternoon of the immature Great Northern Diver on Decoy Lake, Newton Abbot. Also a Peacock basking in my garden just now - oddly enough, my first butterfly of the year!

Great Northern Diver Great Northern Diver Great Northern Diver

Great Northern Diver at Decoy

Posted January 1st at 2:43 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding


Painted lady and Red admiral together on purple hebe .at Bovisand Plymouth.

Posted January 1st at 2:41 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in Other Wildlife

Tamar estuary / Ernesettle


on a rising tide:

49 Teal (20m, 29f), 28 Shelduck, 2 Red breasted Mergansers, 3 Great crested Grebe, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Mediterranean gull (ad winter), 1 Kingfisher, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Chiffchaff.

Ernesettle creek: 65 Snipe, 1 Water Rail, 1 Greenshank.

Happy new year everyone!

Posted January 1st at 2:39 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding


Painted lady and red admiral together on purple hebe hedge.Bovisand, Plymouth.

Posted January 1st at 2:03 pm by Tucker in General Birding

Purple Sandpipers - Torquay

10 Purple Sandpipers on the rocks off Haldon Pier, Torquay at 1300.

Posted January 1st at 1:48 pm by CLIFF PARROTT in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Ring-necked Duck still at Torcross with 60+ Tufted Ducks, 2 Goldeneyes and a Pochard. At least 2 Mediterranean Gulls in Ireland Bay. Offshore at least 7 Red-throated Divers roaming around and a  Great Northern Diver flew north. A Black-necked Grebe off the memorial car park and also, surprisingly, a Teal.

Posted January 1st at 1:00 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

A quieter morning than last night.

Off Torre Abbey sands, 2 northern divers and umpteen cormorants. Marine Parade was host to two oyster catchers with the eiders well off shore. At Clennon, three teal, one male and two female, several tufted duck and one very active bird in the tree tops by the middle lake, possibly one of the chiff chaffs.

Posted January 1st at 10:47 am by Philip L. Fairclough in General Birding

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