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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Monday 7th October 2019

Braunton Marshes, Horsey & Broadsands

Late aft - Horsey - no small waders but 21 Lapwing, 1 Spoonbill, 10 Little Egret, my first 2 adult Shelduck (back from the moult) not seen any here for a couple of months.

On Braunton Marshes 22 Swallows. At Broadsands on the Taw Estuary on a sand bank, 51 Sanderling,26 Dunlin & 7 Ringed Plover which were later spooked by my first Merlin of the autumn.

Posted October 7th, 2019 at 6:36 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Exmouth - Maer Rocks

1 Purple Sandpiper 

Posted October 7th, 2019 at 9:34 am by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding

Sunday 6th October 2019


On an outing to Instow on Sunday morning I can across a number of these little waders.  Is this a little Stint?

Little Stint?
Little Stint?       Eds - Sanderling

Posted October 6th, 2019 at 8:55 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding


Here are most of the feathers I collected earlier.

Quite a variety, and some odd shapes too. There's also one Sparrowhawk feather - can you see it? Anyway concensus is Snipe.
Quite a variety, and some odd shapes too. There's also one Sparrowhawk feather - can you see it? Anyway concensus is Snipe.

Posted October 6th, 2019 at 8:20 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Dawlish warren

Watched from 09:00 till 16:45

A long day on site was rewarded with some really good birdwatching a large feeding frenzy off of exmouth and orcombe point had brought lin large number of gulls and terns a count from the hide looking at bull hill produced 159+ sandwich terns and there was constant movement between the estuary and the sea, 1 probable black tern but was lost when terns disturbed repeatedly by jet skiers, in the estuary 5+ common terns , 1 Juv curlew sandpiper, 24+ Dunlin, 8 grey plover , 7 greenshank , 12 bar tailed godwits, 374+ curlew, 2 pintail, 8+ Mediterranean gulls( 6 adult, 2 1st winter)

Around the site 1 tree pipit over calling, 1 peregrine , 2 sparrowhawk, 1 Merlin, 1 kestrel, steady passage of alba wagtails with 115+ over the day , 2 grey wagtail, 2 rock pipits, lots of meadow pipits, greenfich, goldfinch and linnets, 12+ goldcrests, 6+ chiffchaffs, 3 blackcaps, 1 fox ion front of the hide.

The best bird was a surprise I had left the hide about 13:30 and as I came up ont the dune ridge behind the 7th tee of the golf course a small lark was on the path along the top, just got my bins on it before it flew along the path about 30feet and dived to the side behind the fencing as I moved along the path it flew up again giving bin views before diving behind the fence Lind again another 10feet along my thought was SHORT TOED LARK from the bill shape and face pattern, it the flew back over my head towards the 7th tee and landed on top of a small bush enabling brief scope views before it was flushed by 3 golfers it flew down the golf course and after briefly settling it flew again to an area around the 5th green, but with only one other birder on site and we both searched over the next 2 hours it coul not be relocated but am happy it was SHORT TOED LARK but unfortunately couldn’t get a photo hope it stays around . 

Finished with another look at the sea from the seawall by the boathouse pub and between 16:00 and 16:40 had 6+ Arctic Skuas chasing numerous teens and gull around the bay ( 3 pale phase, 2 dark phases and an intermediate)  a good way to end the day , 

Posted October 6th, 2019 at 7:53 pm by Keith Birchall in General Birding

Crow Beach House Horsey Island

Grey Plover (21) Dunlin (17) and Turnstone (4) on the waters edge. A mixed flock of 200+ ringed plover, dunlin and sanderling (17) on Horsey ridge.

Grey plover
Grey plover


Posted October 6th, 2019 at 6:27 pm by Richard Gowen in General Birding

Tarka trail - Taw Estuary

Cycled slowly along the Tarka trail this morning on the north side of the Taw Estuary stopping off at several locations to check the birds.

Photo showing comparison shot of small flock of Black & Bar-tailed Godwits.

Posted October 6th, 2019 at 3:23 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding


This morning in the reserve I thought that Blue Tit would be the bird of the day, when a flock of 20+ flew over the pond. Fortunately a Swallow flew over, and then a Sparrowhawk flew off leaving a pile of feathers, which at present I haven't identified. Will take a pic later and see if anyone can help.

Posted October 6th, 2019 at 1:34 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Darts Farm, Topsham.

6 Cattle Egret present with red cows at far side of meadows this morning and seen from viewing hide.

Elsewhere... at Bowling Green...Marsh Harrier at back of reeds earlier (10.30am).  It flew off north gaining height.  

Posted October 6th, 2019 at 12:09 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Slapton and Soar 05/10/2019

Lovely marsh harrier flying around Slapton, I don't see many in Devon and a yellow wagtail with the pieds near the Café at East Soar

Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

Posted October 6th, 2019 at 6:47 am by Richie moore in General Birding

Saturday 5th October 2019

Plymouth Estuary/Saltram

Just to add to Alan's post, the following of note were seen.

37 Turnstone at the Laira bridge end, Bar-tailed Godwit, Oystercatcher 8 and a Firecrest in the trees above the steps off the riverside walk.

Posted October 5th, 2019 at 5:21 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding


After some essential and disruptive works around the scrape recently, (a sewage pipe was dug in to link the big shed with the sewage system) finally had a Black-tailed Godwit on the scrape this morning, there have been some Black-headed Gulls the last few days, but not much else.

Ringing in the reserve of late has garnered 9 Blackcaps, 4 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Cetti's Warbler, a Reed Warbler (latest ever here) 9 Blackbirds, the first 5 Greenfinch of the winter, Great Spotted Woodpecker and the 16th Kingfisher of the year. Plus all the usual suspects.

Also in the reserve this morning: 2 Raven. a Grey Heron over.

The first Meadow Pipits of the Winter in the surrounding field appeared in the last couple of days.

Posted October 5th, 2019 at 5:07 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

05-10-19 Ford Park Cemetery

More in the way of bird life and sounds today, 2 Buzzards, 5 Song Thrushes, 4 Goldcrests, 3 Female Pheasants and 1 male, Dunnock, Blue and Great tits, 4 Parakeets.


Song Thrush
Song Thrush


Posted October 5th, 2019 at 2:38 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

River Plym / Saltram

At high tide:

5 Little egret, 29 Curlew, c380 Black headed gull, 165 Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 5 Mandarin, 1 Raven, 1 Kestrel, 2 Ring necked parakeet.

Posted October 5th, 2019 at 12:41 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Friday 4th October 2019

Marsh Harrier Frogmore

Female or immature Marsh Harrier over the road at Winslade Farm Frogmore 4.30 pm probably the bird seen at Slapton earlier.

Posted October 4th, 2019 at 8:50 pm by John Walters in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

A good high tide visit to Bowling Green Marsh this morning, almost shoulder to shoulder standing room only due to the flood of migrant birders trying to catch a view of the Long Billed Dowitcher, which after showing really well on my last visit played hard to get today but it is still there. But no sooner had it decided to show itself it tucked its head under its wing and went to sleep, until a Peregrine came visiting and it was lost inside a flock of Curlew and Godwit.

Several Bar Tailed Godwit about, Lapwing, Teal and Wigeon numbers up on my previous recent visit, still 30 plus Greenshank, lots of Redshank, at least three coloured ringed Black Tailed Godwits. A single Ruff showing well and a solitary Whimbrell.

Two Buzzards caused a bit of a stir as they soared in view of the hide and a lightning low level pass, skimming the ground had to be a Hobby, that was in and gone before most folk had any idea it was there.

Several Pintail duck, a Common Sandpiper, brief view of the Curlew Sandpiper, a couple of Dunlin, Heron and Little Egret, Curlew still present in large numbers.

Bar Tailed GodwitLB Dowitcher

Posted October 4th, 2019 at 4:22 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Thursday 3rd October 2019


Had a good go at it today but it was hard work and then the rains came. Just one Swallow, 2 White Wagtails ( Soar Mill Cove beach ), Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Wheatears, 6 Blackcaps, 30 Chiffchaffs and 12 Goldcrests. At Higher Soar amazed to hear a Skylark singing a good repertoire in the rain, could not see it so maybe from the ground.

Posted October 3rd, 2019 at 8:16 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Golden Plover Haytor

Out with a student group at Haytor this morning. At 11.30, two groups of Golden Plover totalling c. 100 birds whizzed low past us going south.

Posted October 3rd, 2019 at 6:38 pm by Rich Billington in General Birding

Wednesday 2nd October 2019

Bowling Green Marsh 10 - 12 this morning

Quite busy on all fronts with the high tide, lots of waders and wildfowl. Highlights were the Long Billed Dowitcher, elusive on the extreme right with some Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper. On the right of the "peninsula", the eclipse Garganey again. Quite a few Bar Tailed Godwits and Pintail.

Posted October 2nd, 2019 at 8:06 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding


Crossbill flew over Bennett Road this morning.

Posted October 2nd, 2019 at 5:24 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Roborough Down 02-10-19

Wandering around Roborough down this afternoon, several female Reed Buntings were seen, along with Stonechats, Meadow pipits, Goldfinches and 4 buzzards above

Posted October 2nd, 2019 at 3:41 pm by greg bradbury in General Birding

Tuesday 1st October 2019

Cadover/Trowlesworthy area Dartmoor

Highlights - Hobby over, 2 Little Grebe - one juv still begging for food and being fed by adult, 2 Teal, Tufted Duck, Green Woodpecker, Reed Bunting and 60+ Mipits

Posted October 1st, 2019 at 7:19 pm by Chris E in General Birding

Berry Head

Female Sparrowhawk hunting along the hedgerow leading into the car park.

Plenty of small birds around the top of the quarry area, with Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Bullfinch, flocks of Goldfinch,small numbers of Swallow, a large mixed flock of House and Sand Martin, several species of butterfly.

A sea watch was not as productive as hoped for but well entertained by numerous Gannet and Porpoises just off the headland for most of the visit.

Two Great Skua, two Arctic Skua and a solitary Manx Shearwater passing in the distance, a few Kittiwake, several large rafts of Herring gull before the rain stopped play.

Gannet adult & Juvenile

Posted October 1st, 2019 at 1:49 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

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