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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 at 3:08 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Fremington pill

Spotted Redshank; Ruff.

Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank

Posted October 12th, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 at 8:16 am by Steven O'Donoghue in General Birding

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