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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Thursday 31st October 2019

Fieldfares on Dartmoor

Not having seen one so far this season, I was pleased to find a single Fieldfare, in a flock of about 20 Redwings with a few Blackbirds on Yennadon Down near Burrator.  It got much better, when from the cycle track near Ingra Tor on Walkhampton Common there was a flock of perhaps 300 that was nearly all Fieldfare.

Posted October 31st, 2019 at 10:19 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

Nice afternoon on Wrafton Pond today. Female Scaup, Male Pintail, Male Tufted duck, 2 maybe 3 Golden eye, female and juveniles, Gadwall, Kingfisher and a Marsh Harrier on the Scrape. 

Posted October 31st, 2019 at 7:32 pm by Andy leat in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the lake.

4 Willow Tit, 10 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Bullfinch.

Also 1 Otter on the weir. 

Posted October 31st, 2019 at 7:17 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Goosanders in the mist

A return visit to the Torquay Reservoirs produced 22 Goosanders (3 adult males and 19 redheads) on the middle lake, the most I've seen here I think, plus 6 Tufted Ducks. As one would expect in the gloom, the woods were largely quiet, but a pair of Crossbills were active at the East end of the upper dam.

Back at home in Exeter, the first two wintering Blackcaps were "tacking" in the mature gardens of St Leonards, and several Redwings passed over. Haven't seen or heard the Belle Isle Parakeet for two weeks now, so perhaps colonisation has been postponed.

Posted October 31st, 2019 at 7:01 pm by James Camden in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

Late afternoon at Wrafton Pond - 2 goldeneye (there was a 3rd on the scrape), 1 pintail (eventually flew off east), 1 female scaup, 1 gadwall.




Posted October 31st, 2019 at 5:33 pm by Colin Dracott in General Birding

Torre Abbey Sands, Torquay.

Flock of 30 Dark-Bellied Brent Geese feeding in the shallows just off the beach this afternoon.

Posted October 31st, 2019 at 5:17 pm by Steven O'Donoghue in General Birding

Wrafton pond

At 2P.M.  Now 2 F Goldeneye , a M. Tufted Duck with a Scaup type F. , a Male Pintail , a M. Gadwall and calling Water Rail.

M.S. With Sue Bruce.

Posted October 31st, 2019 at 4:23 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in General Birding

South Brent

An inland ad male Black Redstart at South Brent this morning. I'd been scanning roof tops for the last week or so, but this one was in a more rural location than usual, at the edge of the village near Underhill. It follows one reported at nearby Didworthy last week.

Posted October 31st, 2019 at 3:40 pm by Peter Reay in General Birding

Northbrook, - Woodwater Lane

Managed to get a shot of the Green Sandpiper today (only one seen) also Grey Wag and Dipper as well as the usual small stuff Sparrows etc.

Grey Wagtail
Grey Wagtail

Green Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper

Posted October 31st, 2019 at 3:26 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding


Just off the Point a Red-throated Diver was seen along with alone Brent Goose and 2 Sandwich Tern. Also seen were 10 Cirl Bunting, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk.

Posted October 31st, 2019 at 1:39 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Wednesday 30th October 2019

Northbrook, Exeter

The Green Sandpipers are back - 5 today - also seen 1 Dipper.At the Woodwater Lane End of the Northbrook.


Posted October 30th, 2019 at 2:45 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding


No sign of the Lesser Yellowlegs in a brief search about 8.30 this morning, nor of the female Scaup on Wrafton pond, where a drake Gadwall was with the Mallard flock.

Water Rail seen in the reserve.

Posted October 30th, 2019 at 1:43 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Tuesday 29th October 2019

Lesser Yellowlegs

Found a slightly better picture looking through the shots on my camera.

Posted October 29th, 2019 at 9:57 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Highlights were 2 Knot, an Avocet (both unusual here) & 2 Firecrests. A marked increase in Dunlins (90) & Curlews (75). Also: 3 Snipe, 6 Greenshanks, 198 Redshanks, a flock of 160 Jackdaws & 2 Chiffchaffs.

Posted October 29th, 2019 at 9:36 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Wrafton scrape

Looking out from the reserve at about 10 this morning, saw a wader. Had to go home for camera and telescope. From the Tarka trail easy to make out Yellow legs so Either Lesser or perhaps Wood Sandpiper. Call for reinforcements - Rob soon arrived with book and we deduced juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs. Light and distance for photography not ideal. It ranges from the main scrape all the way up to the barn near Wrafton.

Juvenile Lesswer Yellowlegs.
Juvenile Lesswer Yellowlegs.

Posted October 29th, 2019 at 1:04 pm by jon turner in General Birding

Monday 28th October 2019


A sparrow hawk flew over near to Salt Rock, Braunton 

Posted October 28th, 2019 at 9:48 pm by Beth Woollam in General Birding

Cornborough Cliffs, Westward Ho!

Mid-afternoon we found a group of 6 red-legged partridge in a field by Cornborough Cliffs, Westward Ho!

red-legged partidge
red-legged partidge

Posted October 28th, 2019 at 6:52 pm by Colin Dracott in General Birding

Snow Bunting near Noss Mayo

Snow Bunting on SW Coastal Path between Noss Mayo and Stoke Beach. Showed brilliantly.

Posted October 28th, 2019 at 5:07 pm by Stuart Jones in General Birding

Haldon Forest

A group of 8 Crossbills feeding on pine cones in the tree tops on the southern edge of Haldon Forest. I heard some others calling too but not seen.

Posted October 28th, 2019 at 4:21 pm by Keith Benyon-Tinker in General Birding

Sunday 27th October 2019

Capstone Parade

Calmer conditions today, hardly a Gannet to be seen but a small flock of Common Scoter headed up Channel. The last few days deluge has seen 100s of Gulls feeding at the storm drain, other than the usual Herring Gulls 6Juv/sub adult Lesser bb gulls and 4 Common Gulls were all I managed to pick out. 3 Med Gulls have been around the Pier and Wildersmouth rocks. Best birds this Wknd were a pair of Purple Sandpipers on the Rocks to the north of the Pier.  

Common Scoter
Common Scoter

Posted October 27th, 2019 at 10:05 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding

Bellever Plantation

Early/mid pm:at least 12 Crossbills (12+5+4) and a surprise Red Kite high overhead moving southwards.

Posted October 27th, 2019 at 9:40 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Wembury Point

This morning, 10+ Cirl Bunting, 3 Goldcrest, 30+ Linnet, 1 Female Bullfinch and 8 Canada geese. Of note as well was a House Martin feeding high above HMS Cambridge.  

Posted October 27th, 2019 at 7:48 pm by Matt C in General Birding

2 kingfishers fighting

Seen 26th October, Cockwood stream. 2 kingfishers sitting on a twig, then an agressive fight breaks out with dunking of one of them.

Video also available.

Posted October 27th, 2019 at 7:15 pm by Elaine Hughes in General Birding

Occombe, Paignton

Highlight this morning was a solitary Redwing and a Goldcrest working the hedgerows, plus flocks of Goldfinch & Long-tailed Tits.

Posted October 27th, 2019 at 6:09 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Baggy Point

2 snow bunting on path to Baggy point

Posted October 27th, 2019 at 5:53 pm by Jasper Michie in General Birding

Instow Tarka Trail.

A pair of Water Rail,one seen but two heard,were calling to one another from opposite sides of the Tarka Trail by the replica roundhouse just north of the R.E.M.E. base. 10am.

Posted October 27th, 2019 at 5:14 pm by Ken Ebsworthy in General Birding


Bird of the day today. Also retrapped 3 juvenile Kingfishers and ringed 6 Chaffinch, 5 Redwing, a Blackcap a Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff.

Juvenile male Firecrest.
Juvenile male Firecrest.

Posted October 27th, 2019 at 4:56 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Golden Plover

Golden Plover on Dartmoor this morning. A large flock of around 200 near Black Tor

Posted October 27th, 2019 at 2:10 pm by Peter Castle in General Birding


0830-1140 :-

6 Stonechat, 8 Cirl bunting (5m, 3f) 20+ Meadow pipit, 10+ Rock pipit, 3 Skylark, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Raven, 1 female Black redstart, showing well, on the small green building next to the radar. (MOD property).

Posted October 27th, 2019 at 2:06 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

YBW Plymouth

A Yellow-browed Warbler called briefly at Freedom Fields this morning at 0730. Around the junction of Lipson and Mt Gould Road but it didn't show itself and went silent after a minute or so.

Posted October 27th, 2019 at 8:32 am by Rich Billington in General Birding

Saturday 26th October 2019

Start Point

Late afternoon: 1 Black Redstart around the lighthouse buildings, one Wheatear on the rocks above and during a brief sea watch, a steady trickle of Gannets, Kittiwakes and auks plus two Pomarine Skuas.

Posted October 26th, 2019 at 9:55 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding


Whilst watching the Black headed gulls on the sea at Thurlestone I was surprised to see an osprey come in off the sea and fly up the valley


Black-headed Gulls
Black-headed Gulls

Posted October 26th, 2019 at 7:50 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

plymouth railway station

70 ringneck parakeet in to roost at 610 pm

Posted October 26th, 2019 at 6:39 pm by barry insull in General Birding

Common Crossbill

The rain having finally stopped mid-afternoon today , I walked round Witherdon Woods,and was thrilled to hear and see a flock of approximately 15 common Crossbill feeding in the tops of the conifers. 

Posted October 26th, 2019 at 6:21 pm by Juliet Vines in General Birding

Around the home fields

Had a lovely mooch around our farm, Harford. Lovely sparrowhawk gave good views along with a  kestrel and a few mistle thrush and occasional redwing.  Also had a goldcrest, several green Woodpeckers, numerous jays and wood pigeon. Lots of magpies, couple of raven overhead and a few crows.  Of most interest was the pair of common redstart still on their territory, I would have expected them to have left by now? 

Posted October 26th, 2019 at 11:45 am by Ann Willcocks in General Birding

Whitleigh plymouth

5 ringneck parakeet

Posted October 26th, 2019 at 11:03 am by barry insull in General Birding

Friday 25th October 2019

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning.

1m Goosander, 6 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Tufted Duck 1m 1f, 4 Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, 200+ Canada Geese.


I have no authority on who places feeders at the lakes, one has appeared at the Lower Lake car park. I moved my feeders from the car park as there are cats at the adjacent cottage which were causing a problem. The last thing I want to see is a Willow Tit being carried off by a cat.

My car park feeders are now spread around the lake in three sites, all of which have Willow and Marsh Tit feeding on them.

Can we keep the car park free of feeders, I have a Niger feeder there which shouldn't cause a problem.

I can give the positions of the feeder sites if required.

This note is to both CBWPS and DBWPS.


Rod Mudge

Posted October 25th, 2019 at 7:36 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Plym Estuary Thurs 24th Oct

A look at Blaxton Meadow during the high tide produced: 2 Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Dunlins, 4 Greenshanks, Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Oystercatchers, 171 Redshanks, Kingfisher & Grey Wagtail. On the wall, 22+ Turnstones.  

Posted October 25th, 2019 at 7:24 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Firecrest  was seen early this morning in the garden.

Posted October 25th, 2019 at 5:28 pm by Margaret- Phillips in General Birding

Hope's Nose


Female Merlin disturbed in the grassy tussocks/humps area next to the quarry. Despite the challenging weather conditions, bird seen several times in flight and briefly perched, as it hunted across the lower part of the site.  Last seen at about 10.45. 

Posted October 25th, 2019 at 11:24 am by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Thursday 24th October 2019


Ringed a cracking adult female Sparrowhawk this morning. 2 each of Redwing and Treecreeper were good too.

Red Admiral and a late Painted Lady the only butterfly species.

Posted October 24th, 2019 at 9:36 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Woodbury Common

A male Hen Harrier and a male Merlin this evening on Woodbury Common hunting south of Grenade Range.

Posted October 24th, 2019 at 8:42 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding


As per Matt's post the Long-eared Owl was still roosting at 16:15pm. For further information please visit

Posted October 24th, 2019 at 7:23 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Emsworthy Mire

9-10am 75+ Fieldfare arrived from SE and fed on berries. Another 23 mixed Fieldfare and Redwing arrived after followed by dribs and drabs all from SE. 7 Blue Tits, 8 Blackbirds, 2 Stonechat and a Mistle Thrush.


Posted October 24th, 2019 at 10:45 am by Ian Muir in General Birding

Unknown Buntings

Thanks for the photos.  The birds are juv/female Linnets. (Twite is more curry coloured).   The open beaks show the straight edges of Finches'.  Buntings have angled beak edges; the lower fitting into the upper.

Posted October 24th, 2019 at 9:37 am by Abraham Cutajar in General Birding

Wednesday 23rd October 2019

unknown buntings

The 2 snow buntings were still at Northam Burrows but we also saw 2 other buntings very close to them but didn’t think they were juvenile snow buntings because of the speckled breasts. Not sure if they were 1st winter reed buntings would appreciate any suggestions. EDS - These are Linnet & often gather in flocks during the winter

unknown bunting
unknown bunting

unknown bunting
unknown bunting

unknown bunting
unknown bunting

Posted October 23rd, 2019 at 9:46 pm by Colin Dracott in General Birding

Devon side of west Exmoor

This morning a boggy and very muddy walk over part of the west side of Exmoor was well worth the effort with 200+ Golden Plover seen low overhead 150+ Chaffinch on Beech mast, 50+ Fieldfare, Meadow Pipit seam to be everywhere. But the highlight of the morning were two Hen Harrier at different times passing thro heading south. One Ringtail and a Juvenile Male. Plenty of movement overhead.

Posted October 23rd, 2019 at 4:55 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Hopes Nose

A short visit at lunch time along the road with small numbers of Chiffchaff, Golcrest, Blackcap & a Firecrest. 

Posted October 23rd, 2019 at 4:41 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Northam Burrows

Two Snow Bunting still showing well at North end of Golf Course with a single Wheatear Midday.

Posted October 23rd, 2019 at 4:37 pm by Geoff Campbell in General Birding

South Brent (Owley Moor Gate - Glasscombe Corner)

With Shipley Bridge -Avon Dam busier with birders keen to see the Ring Ouzel, I have over the past few days headed to a quieter location at Owley Moor Gate out to Glasscombe Corner. Harder going, but worth the effort! Today 10.50 -13.30 only walked part of the route and sat up by a Rowan tree, where Ring Ouzels (5-6+) have been showing regularly on previous visits for myself and other local birders. Today was quiet on arrival, but after 10 mins or so a mixed flock of 45+ Fieldfare and a few Ouzels arrived. Very flighty, but did manage a few photos, when they settled nearby. A couple of Mistle Thrush, Jay, Meadow Pipit, several L/T tits, wren and robin in the area. It has been a good spot for raptors over the past week, including a Goshawk as reported by Steve Hopper. 2 days ago I picked up a late misguided Hobby flying North at the head of the Glazebrook! Snipe flushed and Stonechat still present. 

Ring Ouzel (Male) + Fieldfare - South Brent -23.10.2019
Ring Ouzel (Male) + Fieldfare - South Brent -23.10.2019

Ring Ouzel + Fieldfare -South Brent- 23.10.2019
Ring Ouzel + Fieldfare -South Brent- 23.10.2019

Fieldfare -South Brent -23.10.2019
Fieldfare -South Brent -23.10.2019

Posted October 23rd, 2019 at 3:58 pm by Dave Pakes in General Birding


We saw 37 species in or close to the reserve yesterday. Added Song Thrush, Little Grebe and Grey Wagtail to the seen list today. Still getting Speckled Wood and Red Admiral, along with Common Darter and Migrant Hawkers.

On the way home by the cycle track near the fire station a CLOUDED YELLOW butterfly.

Posted October 23rd, 2019 at 3:50 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Ford Park Cemetery. 23/10/2019

Short trip this morning in some sunshine.  Plenty of Crows and Magpies but very little else. Highlight was a very pale looking Buzzard being harrassed by a small flock of Corvids and a nice Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood

Posted October 23rd, 2019 at 3:40 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding


07.40 > 09.00 - Vis Mig:- 138 Fieldfare, 11 Redwing (97 yesterday am), 168 Chaffinch, 50 Starling, 5 Meadow Pipit, 17 Long tailed Tit which landed only 3 metres from observation point, 207+ Auks > S (mainly Razorbill), 2 Gannet & 6 Cormorants.

Posted October 23rd, 2019 at 2:40 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Hope's Nose


Short-Eared Owl inadvertently flushed from bracken covered cliff face opposite the Leadstone. Flew off out over the Orestone, before gaining height and heading out over Torbay towards Berry Head. Being mobbed by Herring Gulls as it went. 

Later, a Red-Throated Diver flew out of Hope Cove and around the headland close in, before making its way into Torbay. 


Posted October 23rd, 2019 at 10:36 am by Paul Darlington in General Birding

East Soar Farm

A brief but rewarding morning visit to East Soar Farm. 7 Black Redstarts, 6 Goldcrests, 1Ring Ouzel, countless Skylarks along the track, and a Blackcap at the car park.

Posted October 23rd, 2019 at 10:35 am by Roger White in General Birding

Tuesday 22nd October 2019

Steps Bridge - Blackingstone

Along the river and in the woods were the regulars, including Grey Wagtail, Dipper, Treecreeper and Marsh Tit, plus all three Woodpeckers heard, the L.S. being inaccessible on the steep slope. On Mardon Down were several Redwings (my first of the Winter), 100+ Fieldfares,  10+ Mistle Thrushes and far more Blackbirds than normal, so perhaps some were migrants, all gorging on the berries. Tried to metamorphose some of the last into Ring Ouzels, but failed; others might succeed. In the plantations South of Blackingstone were several pairs/groups of Crossbills, among which were two singing males, plus plenty of Siskins and a Sparrowhawk.. Beautiful views and intense Autumn colours made for a satisfying day.

Posted October 22nd, 2019 at 9:52 pm by James Camden in General Birding

Hennock reservoirs - Tuesday 22 Oct

2 Little Grebes ( 1 Tottiford, 1 Kennick ), 14 Goosander resting at Tottiford ( 1 male, rest brownheads ). 12 Tufted Duck on Kennick ( typical numbers for regular wintering flock ). Numerous Blackbirds, plus just 1 Fieldfare heard. Lovely clear calm day.  

Posted October 22nd, 2019 at 7:56 pm by Nick Walter in General Birding


2 Firecrests, mid-pm. Both, separately, in mixed Tit/Goldcrest flocks. 

Posted October 22nd, 2019 at 7:46 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

!m Goosander (first of the winter), 6 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Cormorant, 13 Canada Geese, 2 Tufted 1m 1f, 6 Coot, 15 Mallard, 2 Coal tit,

Also 1 Hen Harrier (ring tail) over Fairy Cross 15:20

Posted October 22nd, 2019 at 7:28 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Velator Reserve

Ringing this morning produced 50 new birds and 20 or so retraps.

Highlights were 17 Redwing, 10 Goldfinch, 7 Blackbird, 2 Blackcap, 5 Chaffinch, 1 Chiffchaff and one Goldcrest.

We are also almost certain that two largish pale Thrush-type birds were Mistle Thrushes. Unfortunately neither bird found a net so we couldn't confirm. I have only once seen a Mistle Thrush in the reserve, so it would have been a good record.

We think there were at least 5 Water Rails calling, unseen from various reed-beds in and around the reserve. No sign of any Waders or Egrets on the scrape.

One retrap Kingfisher was ringed on 11th August this year. Another was recently reported to me as having flown into a window in Wootton Courtenay in May 2018, having been ringed here in June 2017. It took a while to get these details as the finder  originally mis-read the ring number, but fortunately had kept the specimen for taxidermy!

Posted October 22nd, 2019 at 5:52 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Northam Burrows

The two Snow Buntings were still showing well this afternoon.

Snow Bunting Snow Bunting Snow Bunting
Snow Bunting


Posted October 22nd, 2019 at 5:43 pm by Roy Churchill in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

From our boat in Halwell Creek: 370 Wigeon & 3 Greenshank.

Posted October 22nd, 2019 at 4:59 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Ring Ozels, 22-10-19

Only two Ring Ouzels seen at a distance around the Shipley Bridge area, one Red Wing, Song & Mistle Thrush, Blackbirds, apart from that nothing much else.

Ring Ouzels, distant record shot only
Ring Ouzels, distant record shot only

Posted October 22nd, 2019 at 3:02 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

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