General Birding

Missing Devon rarity records 2018 UPDATE

We have had a good response to the request for missing descriptions for a number of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. Thank you to those who have made the effort to provide these.

However some descriptions remain outstanding meaning, 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 but the report deadline is pressing.

If you saw any of 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.

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 White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March
Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May
Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May
Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August
Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August
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

Monday 14th October 2019

Exeter - Starcross

In Belle Isle Park the lone Ring-necked Parakeet chattered into its fifth week of residence, and a Treecreeper was singing, unusually from the Scots Pines.

At the rapidly-enlarging Matford ponds were two Little Grebes and nearly four hundred ducks, well up on last week, but alas of only four species.

In the estuary were several Red-breasted Mergansers and Great Crested Grebes, newly-arrived, and the Golden Plover flock was up to ninety. No Avocet, but twelve other wader spp. seen.

The surprises of the day were a bedraggled Wheatear on the embankment near Turf, and a flock of sixty Swallows near Powderham Church, basically heading South but also attempting to feed in the lee of the trees.

Of the seventy+ spp. encountered, probably twenty+ had acquired some Kelly genes and were singing in the rain.

Posted October 14th at 6:26 pm by James Camden in General Birding

Snow Bunting - Northam Burrows

at 1130 am. at the northern end between golf course and sea wall among rain-pools.  Tame: approached within 20 feet.  Busy feeding.

Posted October 14th at 2:08 pm by Abraham Cutajar in General Birding

Shipley Bridge / Avon dam ~ South Brent

Low cloud giving murky dull conditions with poor visibility ~ An abundance of Goldcrest along with good numbers of Chiffchaff, several mixed tit flocks Long Tailed and  Blue Tit well represented with a few Great Tit. Numerous Magpie, Three Stonechat just below the dam, Heron, Buzzard, three Kestrel sightings, six Mistle Thrush and a single Ring Ouzel in flight, Jay,  good numbers of both Robin and Blackbird, a few Wren and a small number of Chaffinch.

Posted October 14th at 10:53 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Sunday 13th October 2019

Bowling Green Marsh

Female Goldeneye diving most of the afternoon. Also Pochard (2), Gadwall and Sparrowhawk. 

Posted October 13th at 5:36 pm by Tim Smith in General Birding

Wembury Point

Headed out at 13:00 from the car park. 5 Swallows overhead as well as 2 Skylark and some Pied Wagtails. By the sewage outflow pipe on Langdon Beach, 20+Rock/Meadow Pipit. On the rocks, 10+ Oystercatcher and 3 Little Egret. On our return through the pines at the bottom of the hill, 5 Goldcrest, 5+Linnet. The highlight of the walk though was our first male Firecrest in striking plumage. It was low in the sycamores just to the side of the path that tracks up behind the pines at the bottom of the hill. 

Posted October 13th at 3:30 pm by Matt C in General Birding

Isley Marsh and Fremington Pill.

Two Spoonbills roosting on Isley at high tide.   Glossy Ibis showing well on Fremington Pill but no sign of Spot Red.  3 Greenshank feeding with 50+Redshank.

Posted October 13th at 12:21 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in General Birding

Saturday 12th October 2019


A mid-afternoon walk at Isley Marsh and Yelland Quay, on an incoming tide, started very quietly but once we overlooked the Taw things improved dramatically. The highlights included 2 spoonbills, 6 bar tailed godwit, 5 turnstones, 1 swallow over the man made sand dune, 100+ curlew, 400+ oystercatchers (fairly evenly split between the north and south side of the Taw), and a grey seal.

distant spoonbills
distant spoonbills

Posted October 12th at 8:59 pm by Colin Dracott in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Redshanks increasing with 208 (all on Blaxton); also, 22 Turnstones, 8 Greenshanks, Black-tailed Godwit, 33 Curlews & 3 Mediterranean Gulls (2 ads + 2nd-w).

Posted October 12th at 5:36 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Bideford Bank end

68 Mediterranean gulls on the river Torridge at low tide , roughly half were adults and half 2cy. With just one first winter.

Posted October 12th at 4:45 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in General Birding

Paignton Harbour area

The juvenile Red Throated Diver close in off Roundham Head late morning. It drifted slowly north and out to sea, last seen some way out from Paignton sands at 12.30

Posted October 12th at 3:08 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Fremington pill

Spotted Redshank; Ruff.

Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank

Posted October 12th at 1:03 pm by Gordon Westley in General Birding

Firecrest, Wonford Road, Exeter

A firecrest foraging in large birch on western end of Wonford Road, Exeter.

Posted October 12th at 12:06 pm by Ben Lansbury in General Birding

Berry Head seawatch

Seawatch from 0730-0900. More productive than expected given the flat calm conditions. Star bird was a juvenile Sabine's gull south at 0830. Also Bonxie, 2 Pomarine Skua, 12 Arctic Skua, Red-throated Diver and 300+ Kittiwakes

Posted October 12th at 11:54 am by Simon Tonge in General Birding

Friday 11th October 2019

Tarka trail - Taw Estuary

A single Juv Great Crested Grebe on the Taw Estuary late aft seen from the Tarka trail several hundred metres from the Tarka Inn.

Posted October 11th at 5:57 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Paignton harbour ~ Red Throated Diver

Being a fair weather birder who does not do rain, waking up to the pouring deluge outside this morning was not encouraging, but the lure of the Red Throated Diver that seems to be quite happy in Paignton harbour was too much of a temptation so off I went.

Well worth the visit firstly the weather was half decent for a poor weather day and then to spot the RTD in the harbour entrance made the day, it gave great close up views being reasonably unconcerned that I was watching it.

Despite the dropping tide it was working an area 20 or so yards inside and outside of the harbour mouth.

Posted October 11th at 1:26 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Off Shoalstone,Brixham

9.30 till 11.00. Great Northern Diver. Arctic Skuasx14 all dark phase flying south

Posted October 11th at 12:30 pm by David Leigh in General Birding

Thursday 10th October 2019

Instow Beach

20 Brent Geese - 10+ curlew. All unsettled by hunting Peregrine

Posted October 10th at 6:03 pm by Steve Wheale in General Birding

Wednesday 9th October 2019


The Juvenile Red Throated Diver Was Showing Well From 11.30 Until I Left At 14.15, Both On The Seaward Side And Inside The Harbour.

Thank You To Stephen O Donoghue For The Original Post.

Posted October 9th at 5:51 pm by patrick hawkins in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

8 Willow Tits, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Jay, 9 Coal Tit, 1 Cormorant.

Posted October 9th at 3:56 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding


Best sighting in the reserve this morning was a male Bullfinch, but best bird was a squealing Water Rail, the first since one nearby in June and a couple in early January. Oddly, Great Tits outnumbered Blue Tits by about 4:1.

3 Black-tailed Godwits out on the scrape.

Posted October 9th at 1:38 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Tuesday 8th October 2019

East Soar late pm

Everything keeping low in the strong west wind. A 'crest' flitted through the willows, never to be seen again. A Wheatear, a few Skylarks and Sparrowhawk by the car park.

Posted October 8th at 6:16 pm by Roger White in General Birding


After I saw you Rob, I saw a Curlew out on the scrape too. In the reserve a Treecreeper was the best, still lots of Blue Tits.

At home, and the first I have seen this year, a Humming-bird Hawkmoth, which all too quickly zoomed off.

Posted October 8th at 4:55 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Sharpa / Wrafton scrape

1 Shoveler, 13 Teal, 1 Black tailed Godwit, a small flock of BH Gulls & 1 Grey Wagtail which flew over the Tarka trail towards Wrafton Pond.

Posted October 8th at 12:42 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Emsworthy Mire

At around 9.40 this morning, I picked out a male Hen Harrier coming in low from the direction of Haytor. It continued low until I lost it behind some trees. No sign of any thrushes though.

Posted October 8th at 11:02 am by Nick Potter in General Birding

Paignton Harbour

Juvenile Red-throated Diver feeding  inside the Harbour on Monday afternoon(07/10/19).. At low tide it remained just off the Harbour mouth.


Posted October 8th at 8:16 am by Steven O'Donoghue in General Birding

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