General Birding

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


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

Monday 14th January 2019

Haldon Forest and BGM

Visited Haldon Forest this morning, Crossbills heard but not seen, no Brambling either. Treecreeper showed well near the Gruffalo, Siskin around the feeders, at least 1 Sparrowhawk, Nuthatch, GSW, Song and Mistle Thrush. Later popped into BGM for another look at the YBW (this time with my camera!) also Pochard imm male, Pintail, Gadwall and a distant Goldeneye off Topsham Rec in the fading light.


Treecreeper -

Yellow-browed -

Pochard -

Cheeky Blackbird -

Pochard (imm male) Siskin Yellow-browed Warbler
Pochard (imm male)                                  Siskin                                           Yellow-browed Warbler

Posted January 14th at 7:41 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford Strand. 1400-1530.

Grey Plover 12; Black-tailed Godwit 15; Bark-bellied Brent Goose c160 on Penhill Marsh; Sanderling 8; Wigeon 24; Golden Plover 2 flocks, 1 off Pottington c550 and 2nd off Ashford Strand c400; Dunlin 32 plus just 1 Ringed Plover. 2 Goosander (1M,1F) off Bradiford Water and another 4 (1M,3F) near Ashford Strand.

Posted January 14th at 4:30 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Middle Soar to Southdown Farm

Some reasonable counts: 940 Skylark, 47 Cirl Bunting, 67 Yellowhammer, 25 Blackbird, 41 Meadow Pipit, 6 Red-legged Partridge, Snipe & Grey Heron.

Posted January 14th at 4:26 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


Above Higher Whitestone farm, Slapton 8 Buzzards in a sheep field along with 200 plus Starling, one Stock Dove, 150 plus Lapwing.

Memorial car park, Slapton, 6+ Razorbill, 2 Great Crested Grebe, Black Necked Grebe, Red Necked Grebe, GND, 24 plus Scoter flew in and landed on the sea off of the headland at the end of the Dart. A large number of Common Gull on the ley.

Large mixed gull roost on the beach.

The reported Yellow-browed Warbler still at Torcross on the main road between the old Chapel and The Old Hannafords Butchers across the road from "Windfalls" calling and showing well, when calling it was only using one note and not the familiar twin note call.

From the hide male and female Goldeneye, Gadwall, Scaup, Black Necked Grebe and the briefest view of a passing Otter.

Posted January 14th at 3:28 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Opposite Calstock

On a walk yesterday from Bere Alston station yesterday got down to the bank on the Devon side opposite Calstock; just beyond the viaduct a Green Sandpiper got up from the ditch on the field side, flew along a few yards, dropped down and then as we approached again, got up again and flew along the ditch and round the corner towards Cotehele quay. 

Posted January 14th at 11:03 am by Simon Martin in General Birding

Sunday 13th January 2019

Exminster Marshes

At least 3 Barnacle  and 5 Greylag Geese amongst the Canada Geese today.

Barnacle Geese with the Canada Geese
Barnacle Geese with the Canada Geese

Posted January 13th at 7:49 pm by simon thurgood in General Birding

Dartington estate

6 snipe in Queens Marsh on the 2nd pond margin 

Posted January 13th at 6:37 pm by Hamish Johnson in General Birding

Turf Locks

Great Northern Diver showing well in the river, feeding just downstream of the locks. A lovely Avocet nearby.

Great Northern Diver   Avocet
Great Northern Diver                                            Avocet

Posted January 13th at 6:03 pm by Martin Littlemore in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh this lunchtime

Lots of Black Tailed Godwits, Redshank, Lapwings and Dunlin. A few Bar Tailed Godwits,  Curlew, Greenshank and Snipe. Wildfowl included lots of Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Shelduck and Pintail with fewer numbers of Gadwall, Tufted Duck and a single Pochard. As we walked back up the lane the Yellow Browed Warbler showed really well 14:15ish

Posted January 13th at 5:01 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

Dartmoor & Lopwell dam

Seven Fieldfare flew over Dean Cross, Dean Prior.

Flocks of Redwing at Blackaton Cross and Challacombe.

Good sized flock of Stock Dove just above Runnage farm by the junction with the B3212.

On the lane down to the Lopwell dam a Snipe flushed from the roadside a most unlikely place for it to have been, from the cafe, Little Egret, two Little Grebe, Muscovy and Mallard duck, five Moorhen, Pied and Grey Wagtail, eighteen plus Raven, three Buzzard, a female Sparrowhawk, Kingfisher and three Cormorant and numerous Canada geese.

At the lower end of Soussans three Red Deer hinds.



Posted January 13th at 3:56 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

This morning Yellow-browed Warbler feeding along roadside towards the hide  near the 20 mile speed limit sign. Three chiffchaffs also present in the same area.

Posted January 13th at 2:13 pm by Ray Hamilton in General Birding


In among the usual suspects in the reserve this morning were 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Treecreeper, 12 Gadwall, 10 Redwing, and a female Siskin. Grey Wagtail and a male Sparrowhawk by the river bridge.

Marsh Tit still joining all the other Tits at the feeders in my garden.

Posted January 13th at 1:39 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


Perry's  Y B. Warbler still in the same location as yesterday and showing well this morning.

Posted January 13th at 12:39 pm by Alan K Searle in General Birding

Plym estuary / Saltram

This mornings high tide:

127 Redshank, 6 Greenshank, 154 Dunlin, 2 Black tailed Godwit, 2 Common gull. 13 Goosander on the Plym (3m,10f) 2 Stock dove, 2 Goldcrest, 10 Redwing around the estate. 5 Ring necked Parakeet overhead.

Posted January 13th at 12:35 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Between Instow and the Torridge Bridge

The Female Scaup was between Instow and the three house boats below Torridge Bridge. Another bird for the bedroom window list!

Posted January 13th at 11:38 am by Martin Unwin in General Birding

Saturday 12th January 2019

Turf locks

Great Northern diver on the river. 

I don't remember seeing one there before! 

Posted January 12th at 10:08 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Great day at Slapton 3 scaup and a ring necked duck Torcross end, great views of a yellow browed warbler spotted by Perry Sanders and a cormorant with a pike right outside the hide

Yellow-browed Warbler  Ring-necked Duck, Scaup, tufted duck and Pochard Cormorant
Yellow-browed Warbler        Ring-necked Duck, Scaup, tufted duck and Pochard        Cormorant

Posted January 12th at 5:53 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Scaup Slapton Ley 12th Jan 2019

Slapton ley , 3 male Scaup,male Ring-necked Duck, Pochard, Gadwall and Goldeneye all viewed from new hide across from the American tank car park.

Goldeneye male  Goldeneye underwing  upperwing Goldeneye
Goldeneye male                        Goldeneye underwing                      upperwing Goldeneye

Posted January 12th at 4:56 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

South Brent Woodcock

Spent all morning out birding for very little return, Dartmoor misty wet with very limited visibility, around Powderham not a great deal to see but a flock of 28 Curlew contained a tag ringed bird Green ring over yellow and black.

A Kestrel hovering near the A379 at Exminster.

Back home at South Brent I walked up some rough ground within 150 yards of my house and put up two Woodcock later in the afternoon a Kestrel seen hovering over the same ground, I only ever see a couple around home each year.

Posted January 12th at 4:39 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Friday 11th January 2019

Otter Estuary

At least one, probably two Siberian Chiffchaffs with Common Chiffchaff feeding (and calling occasionally) in wet ditches north of South Farm Road along footpath 350M west of White Bridge. 

Posted January 11th at 8:24 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Isley to Instow.

6 grey plover, 4turnstone, 2Spoonbill 1dunlin, large flock of lapwing, 1 little grebe, 1black tailed godwit, and  large amounts of wigeon. 

Posted January 11th at 7:28 pm by John Elvin in General Birding

Taw Estuary - pintail

25 pintail off Penhill Point (SS517344) 3:30 this afternoon.

Posted January 11th at 4:59 pm by alan craddock in General Birding

Dart Bridge / Stover Country park

Rv Dart at Dart Bridge this morning Song Thrush in ful song, Grey Wagtail and a Cormorant flying up the river.

A38 Alston Cross a pair of circling Buzzards and a third on a post at Caton Cross.

Stover Country park a BTO style metal ring on a Black Headed Gull the ring ends in "22" and possibly starts with a "6", Snipe, Treecreeper, Long Tailed Tit, three Goosander and a Kingfisher in the small pond to the left of the walkway feed station, a Heron flew over ans a Buzzard in the trees round the car parks.

A38 Dean Prior a Kestrel hunting the roadside fence below the old race course.

At Ivybridge visiting a racing pigeon owner friend a female Sparrow hawk came in and made a valiant effort at snatching one of his pigeons..

At home Tawny owl calling 7.30 this morning, female Reed Bunting on the feed station, Green Woodpecker and two Jays.


Posted January 11th at 4:57 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Thirteen Goosanders (5 drakes) & 7 Red-breasted Mergansers (3 drakes) on the estuary this morning, making a respectable count of 20 sawbills. Also 142 Redshanks, 194 Dunlins, 9 Wigeon (4 drakes), Black-tailed Godwit, Stock Dove & 2 Snipe, all on Blaxton Meadow. Elsewhere, 10 Little Egrets, Shag, and heard Ring-necked Parakeet(s).

Posted January 11th at 4:53 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


On my early morning dog walk near Haytor I had wonderful views of a stunning Male Hen Harrier quartering the gorse and perching on a bush.Watched for a few minutes before the low cloud came in and the bird disappeared.

Also saw the Golden Plover flock nearby which I estimated to be in the region of 300+

Posted January 11th at 12:28 pm by Keith Benyon-Tinker in General Birding

Haldon Pier, Torquay

Walked the pier to check for waders; Turnstone (3) and Purple Sandpiper (9)

Other birds present included Shag, GBB Gull, Herring Gull, Rock Pipit (1).

Posted January 11th at 8:58 am by Matt Collis in General Birding

Thursday 10th January 2019

Teignmouth Seafront pm

Lots of Gannets way out. Five Eider (two males) off the estuary mouth. 

Posted January 10th at 10:50 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

Berry Head

On a visit to Berry Head this morning was greeted with a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the woodland behind the Berry Head Hotel. 2 Raven in the inner quarry. Just before the seaward end of the quarry on the cliffs 15 Fulmar investigating breeding sites, nice to hear the sound of the chatter. Before settling down at the sea watch site noticed much activity of birds coming out of Torbay and flying in, going into the Bay 20+ Scoter. Majority of Auks seen were Razorbill, 30+ coming out of the Bay, Gannets and a few Guillemots but best was the show of Common Dolphin, 12+ feeding and they stayed around from first light till I went at 11am. I have a few places left for the 20th Jan on 2 hour boat trip around Torbay looking at the Divers and Grebes. If interested call 07866202576.

Posted January 10th at 8:30 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

32 Goosander 11m 21f (dawn count), 3 Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1m Pintail, 2 Tawny Owl calling, 1f Ring-necked Duck, Plus Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Teal, Wigeon, 3 Cormorant, 2 Grey Heron.

Posted January 10th at 7:19 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Baggy Point

 17 Common Scoters + 4 Eider (1 male + 3 females).

1 Red Throated Diver, 1 Atlantic Grey Seal & 2 Porpoise

Posted January 10th at 5:40 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Hanger Down

Marsh |Harrier, presumed juvenile, hunting over marshy area around 15:00 this afternoon. Unusual on Dartmoor, especially in winter.

Posted January 10th at 5:00 pm by Peter Reay in General Birding


A Sparrowhawk was seen hunting around the marsh below the hide alot this morning. Also a Cetti's Warbler and Chiffchaff below the hide when the Sparrowhawk wasn't around. On the main marsh, 3 pairs of Gadwalls were with some Mallards and Teals. Off shore 3 GCGrebes and 4 Common Gulls.

Posted January 10th at 4:13 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in General Birding

Stover Country Park

On Stover Lake - 7 goosander, 2 pairs of Mandarin, 12 Tufted Duck, 13 Coot, 12 Moorhen, 200 black headed Gulls, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Grey Heron. In the marsh - 1 Cetti's Warbler in scrub next to the hide, several Water Rail and Snipe (200+). In the woodland, several Marsh tit, Green Woodpecker calling, Great spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatches singing and a few small Siskin flocks. (Stock Doves also been seen recently)

Posted January 10th at 11:56 am by JDA in General Birding

South Brent ~ Blackcap

Male Blackcap in the garden and on the feed station this morning, feeding on sunflower hearts.

Also Greenfinch, male GSWP, female Reed Bunting, Dunnock,Goldfinch, Song Thrush, flyover Mistle Thrush and Raven.

Posted January 10th at 11:28 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Otter valley

Excellent views from the cafe at the Otter Valley field kitchen, nr Honiton of a Black Redstart . Also a pair of sparrow hawks. All seen while enjoying coffee and ice cream. 

Posted January 10th at 11:13 am by Lyn lucey in General Birding

Re: River Exe Estaury

Replying to Trevor Ridgers earlier post of Redshank C73. This is a Dutch, Westerland female into her 15th year and regularly winters on the Exe.

Please report sighting details to Wim Tijsen,



Posted January 10th at 10:06 am by David Boult in General Birding

Wednesday 9th January 2019

River Exe Estuary

12.40hrs  Between Powderham Church and Turf Lock I spotted geo-tagged redshank C73 (a little research shows she has quite a history).  I don't know If I should report this sighting and if so to whom?

Posted January 9th at 8:35 pm by Trevor Ridgers in General Birding

Baggy Point

Still perhaps 16 Common Scoter off the point (one smart male) 3 Eider and a Red-throated Diver. 2 Ravens.

Common Gull on Croyde Beach.

Merlin over the Reserve at Velator today.

Posted January 9th at 6:22 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Out and About

Soussons,Dartmoor: Best was 3 Crossbill inc.2 red males; Also: 11 Jay, 4 Bullfinch, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Yarner Wood: 3 Marsh Tit; 2 Nuthatch.

Stover Lake: 2 pairs Mandarin Duck, 4 Goosander, Treecreeper, 2 Marsh Tit; 2 Nuthatch.

River Dart by A38: Dipper & Grey Wagtail.

Posted January 9th at 5:04 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


Little Egret , Redshank, Greenshank

Posted January 9th at 4:33 pm by Ray Brown in General Birding

Fremington Pill Ruddy Duck

Sorry no photos the duck was a male had white cheeks  dark crown and stiff tail. Not scaup

Posted January 9th at 4:19 pm by Gordon Westley in General Birding

Tuesday 8th January 2019

South Hams

South Brent to Slapton and back via Frogmore, Kingsbridge and Aveton Gifford

Twenty plus Redwings near Harbertonford.

Lapwing near Slapton

Above Higher Whitestone farm, Slapton 10 plus Buzzards in a sheep field along with 100 plus Starling, four Stock Dove, 110 plus Lapwing and numerous gulls.

Slapton Ley (Ireland bay viewing platform) three Firecrest came through in company with 20 plus Long Tailed Tits. On the Ley good numbers of Common Gull, Great Black Backs and several Gadwall duck, a fly over Heron and a Cetti’s Warbler by the bridge.

On the sea from the Memorial car park, 2 Black Necked Grebe, 10 plus Razorbill, at least three Great Crested Grebe, a Red Necked Grebe and 2 Lesser Black Back gulls.

From the hide opposite Torcross, drake Ring Necked Duck, drake Golden Eye, 3 Pochard (2M & 1F) 3 Great Crested Grebe (2 displaying) 46 Great Black Back gull.

Torcross a single Brent Goose flew down the coast line.

Frogmore Creek ~ Common Sandpiper, Little Egret, 6 Common Gull, Redshank, Greenshank, 2 Oyster Catcher and a Shelduck.

Kingsbridge estuary ~ 25 plus Shelduck, Curlew, 100 plus Dunlin, 5 Little Egret, 14 Brent Geese, Redshank and Greenshank.

Churchstowe ~ female Kestrel.

Aveton Gifford (Tidal road) ~ 2 Oyster catcher, 34 Black Tailed Godwit, 3 Greenshank, Redshank, Little Egret, Grey Wagtail, female Bullfinch and 2 Little Grebe.

Back at home a female Reed Bunting spent the afternoon around the garden feed station.


Posted January 8th at 6:17 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Putsborough Sands

A couple more photos of the Rock Pipit with leucistic plumage taken on 06/01/2019.


Posted January 8th at 5:56 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

At least 11 Goosanders (6 drakes) including a flock of 10 mid-way up the estuary, a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers, 7 Little Grebes, Jack Snipe, Snipe, 1 or 2 Common Sandpipers, 9 Wigeon, 2 Shags, 2 Grey Wagtails, a pair of Mandarin Ducks & a Green Woodpecker.

Visiting birders may want to note that a new viewing area created by National Trust just to the north of Blaxton Meadow gives improved views of the top end of the estuary. This has been put in place to compensate for restricted access nearby (which has been very succesful in increasing numbers of birds using the Meadow). 

Posted January 8th at 5:20 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


12 Mandarin Duck {6 male and 6 female} and 2 brown head Goosander very close to the bridge this afternoon.


Posted January 8th at 4:30 pm by Peter Castle in General Birding

Trendlebere down

Red Kite seen flying briefly over the down this afternoon . 

Posted January 8th at 3:57 pm by Keith Benyon-Tinker in General Birding

Fremington Pill

Ruddy Duck

Posted January 8th at 3:30 pm by Gordon Westley in General Birding

Teignmouth Tues 8th

At 1.00 pm there was an estimated 100 gannets plus assorted gulls in a feeding frenzy approx 100 metres off the pier. Wonderful sight in bright sunshine.  By 2.00 pm the flock had dispersed somewhat and moved East to Sprey Point where I estimated approx 50 gannets still diving. Also off Sprey Point 12 common scoter, one great crested grebe and one seal close in on reef.

Posted January 8th at 3:00 pm by Patrick Case in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Cetti's Warbler near bridge and Torcross. Grey Wagtail Torcross garden for 4th day.

Posted January 8th at 11:33 am by Steve Wadsworth in General Birding

Older Posts in General Birding →

← Newer Posts in General Birding