General Birding

2019 Descriptions - last call

The deadline for the 2019 Bird Report is rapidly approaching. If you found (or saw) any of these birds please could you submit a description to to ensure your records are published. Many thanks. 

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 - Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Dawlish Warren are closed until further notice. 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


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

Saturday 9th November 2019

Exe Estuary cruise

The first Stuart Lines birdwatching cruise of the winter went well after a very wet start. Highlight was a Red-throated Diver feeding close to Exmouth marina. Slavonian and Little Grebes off Cockwood; maybe a dozen Great Crested Grebes; plenty of Shags, hundreds of Brent Geese and Wigeon, maybe 200 Shelduck, three-figure flock of Pintail and 2 Black Swans at Lympstone, less than 20 Red-breasted Mergansers in total, approx. 300 Avocets, c10 each of Ringed Plover and Greenshank, several hundred each of Golden Plover, Dunlin and Black-tailed Godwit, small numbers of Grey Plover, Knot, Sanderling and Turnstone; 3 separate Kingfishers at Topsham, Turf and Exmouth.

Posted November 9th, 2019 at 9:37 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning on the lake.

9 Goosander 4m 5f, 9 Willow Tit, 4 Marsh Tit, 1 Little Egret, 12 Tufted Duck, 15 Fieldfare, 8 Great Crested Grebe, 9 Long-tailed Tit

Posted November 9th, 2019 at 7:24 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Whitleigh plymouth

5 ringneck parakeet 

Posted November 9th, 2019 at 4:33 pm by barry insull in General Birding



Blue-winged Teal showed well on the main pool for at least an hour. Viewed from main track 50m inland from the cottages and the lime kiln. Several Snipe present. Two female Black Redstarts and a Chiffchaff on a barbed wire fence near the cottages. 

Posted November 9th, 2019 at 2:53 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Friday 8th November 2019

Woodbury Common

Two Short-eared Owls hunting at dusk below Warren Car Park this evening.

Posted November 8th, 2019 at 8:04 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding


25+ crossbills at Burrator, in pines along Drakes Leat , very close views.

Posted November 8th, 2019 at 7:43 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in General Birding

Downend, Baggy Point, R.Caen, Wrafton Pond

No Scoters at Downend or Baggy point early am but 9 Gannet flying north & a few Porpoise swimming south at Downend. At about 16.00, 1 Juv Great Crested Grebe on R.Caen. Single Goldeneye & 2 Scaup still on the Pond at Wrafton.

Posted November 8th, 2019 at 6:32 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Velator ringing

Very productive:

Highlights were:

1 female Cetti's Warbler

1 Goldcrest

1 Firecrest

1 Kingfisher (no 17 this year)

4 Bullfinch

7 Goldfinch

6 Chiffchaff

5 Blackcap

8 Blackbird

5 Redwing

17 Long-tailed Tit

Some sort of delayed migration after all the bad weather?

Posted November 8th, 2019 at 5:31 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Haldon and Teign Estuary

A few Crossbills feeding at the main car park on Haldon. At Passage House on the Teign Estuary 2 Kingfishers and 3 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpipers amongst the Redshanks. Usual gulls, nice to see two Little Grebes towards the opposite bank.

Posted November 8th, 2019 at 5:30 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding


Seen at lunch time before the tide came in 46 Snipe & 1 Firecrest in the tree’s near the rail bridge.

Posted November 8th, 2019 at 2:43 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Cancellation of fieldtrip (SAT 9 Nov) and change to later Programme.

Please note that the EAST Devon Branch fieldtrip planned for Blackhole Marsh, Seaton tomorrow (SAT 9 NOV) has been cancelled due to a forecast of adverse weather conditions with heavy rain predicted for the morning.

Also, the next fieldtrip is scheduled for TUESDAY 19 November to Ham Wall, Somerset and not the 18th as given in the Programme. 

AND... please note that the fieldtrip on Thurs 12 DEC (a visit to Woodbury Castle), will NOT include an indoor meeting as advertised on the Programme.  Sorry folks


Posted November 8th, 2019 at 11:22 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Thursday 7th November 2019

Haldon to BGM

Haldon Forest, two Crossbill, good movement of Wood pigeon overhead, two GSWP, Siskin, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Redwing, Pied Wagtail.

Around Exminster marsh four Greylag Geese in with the Canada geese, Heron and several Little Egret, good numbers of Starling and a build up of Lapwing.

RSPB BGM ~ Ten Greylag Geese flew in on the high tide, lots of Redshank with good numbers of Dunlin, six Pintail duck, Shoveller, Teal, Wigeon, Little Grebe the Long Billed Dowitcher eventually showed well, all be at the back of the marsh, several Snipe.


Posted November 7th, 2019 at 5:13 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Stover Lake

This morning at Stover, 4 Goosanders (2 male, 2 female type), 1 male Pochard, 32 Coot, 23 Tufted Duck, 4 Mandarin, 1 Kingfisher

Posted November 7th, 2019 at 11:38 am by Nick Potter in General Birding

Wednesday 6th November 2019


After a flog around West Cornwall chasing Pipits yesterday, a slight break in the weather this morning allowed a short ringing session. Mostly Tits this time including 7 Long-tailed Tits, also a Goldcrest, 2 Blackbirds, 2 Goldfinch and a juvenile male Sparrowhawk. 2 Water Rails seen.

Nothing on the scrape - large thresher type machine cutting hedges by the large barn. Also evidence of progress with the project for wind generated energy: two tethered balloons (rather than kites) down near the estuary.

Posted November 6th, 2019 at 7:57 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


am:- 44 female Common Scoters at Downend this morning but further out to sea.

Posted November 6th, 2019 at 5:37 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Countesswear - Starcross; Dawlish Warren - Dawlish

Along the canal and in the adjacent ditches, at least seven each of squealing Water Rails and singing Cetti's Warblers;

On Exminster Marsh, a female Sparrowhawk spooking the ducks;

In the estuary, at least 150 Avocet, at least 600 Golden Plover, good numbers of commoner waders, and several each of Great Crested Grebe and Red-breasted Merganser;

Between Turf and the cycle bridge, a Cirl Bunting singing from a thorn bush;

From the cycle bridge, at least twenty of the Pintail which have "gone missing" from BGM;

From the sea wall, a Red-throated Diver (my first of the year) and twenty-five Common Scoter.

Didn't check the flooded field at Starcross, so missed the Cattle Egrets, but still over eighty spp. for the day.

Posted November 6th, 2019 at 5:14 pm by James Camden in General Birding

Haldon Forest

Views of 3 mobile Hawfinches this morning. Also 1 male Brambling and a small group of Crossbills,

Posted November 6th, 2019 at 1:28 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Haldon Pier, Torquay

A single Purple Sandpiper back at Haldon Pier this morning.

Posted November 6th, 2019 at 11:23 am by Steven O'Donoghue in General Birding

Crossbills Haldon

Distant view just west of car park last Sunday

Posted November 6th, 2019 at 9:12 am by Geoff Mitchell in General Birding

Raptors at Charlton Marsh

On Monday 4 November, a female Sparrow Hawk traversed the marsh in front of the hide then flew tight along the  wooded bank on the east of the marsh.

Shortly after, a juvenile male Peregrine hovered briefly over the marsh.  He was joined by an adult female as he headed for the foreshore, possibly teaching him the pair hunting technique used by local birds.

Female Sparrowhawk
Female Sparrowhawk

Juvenile Male Peregrine Falcon
Juvenile Male Peregrine Falcon

Posted November 6th, 2019 at 8:30 am by Michael Woodman Smith in General Birding

South Brent

Tawny owl calling at home just on first light.

Redwings in good numbers moving as soon as it was light enough to see, two small flocks of Fieldfare over, the Redwings again dropping into Holly trees to feed on berries.

The Wood pigeon migration again under way with up to 500 birds passing by in flocks of up to 50 birds mostly headed west and out towards the A38 valley by sunrise at 07.13hrs.

A further watch up to 08.20hrs gave a total of 2000 plus Wood pigeons, 3 Stock Dove, a flock of 100 plus Jackdaw, two flocks of Fieldfares one of 50 plus and a flock of 22 with Redwings beyond counting.


Wood pigeon migration

Posted November 6th, 2019 at 7:24 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Tuesday 5th November 2019

Hawfinch - Haldon

3 hrs of observation this afternoon at the usual location at Haldon, including a walk through the woods, eventually at 3.30pm gave up a brief view and record photo of one Hawfinch. The presence of a Sparrow Hawk on the pylon wire may account for the few birds, other than pigeons, present! Never saw any Crossbill!

Posted November 5th, 2019 at 9:24 pm by Dave Pakes in General Birding

Woodbury Common

Male Hen Harrier and Merlin again late this afternoon hunting around Grenade Range.

Posted November 5th, 2019 at 7:08 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Exe estuary

From Cockwood steps at high tide - a real mix of summer and winter 3 red-breasted mergansers, one little grebe, one great crested grebe and the Slavonian greb, also two sandwich terns.

At Bowling Green the long-billed dowitcher showed well if distant, early afternoon.

Yesterday a great northern diver off Exmouth in the Duck Pond.

Posted November 5th, 2019 at 5:52 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Yelland, n. devon - scaup

3 juv(?) scaup diving off the old Yelland power station outflow adjacent to the roost this morning at 11:30.

Posted November 5th, 2019 at 1:22 pm by alan craddock in General Birding

South Brent ~ Wood pigeon migration

Between 07.10hrs and 08.30hrs this morning over South Brent westward movement of Wood pigeons mostly small flocks of 40 plus birds but one flock of 400 plus birds, not as many as reported elsewhere but some 1500 birds counted in that time.

Eight Stock Dove, good numbers of Redwing, smaller numbers of Fieldfare with one flock of 25 birds, a flock of some 30 plus Chaffinch dropped it to a boundary field hedge.

Very close up views of a Tawny owl that was being given a hard time by a pair of very raucous Jays.


Posted November 5th, 2019 at 9:26 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Monday 4th November 2019

Budleigh Salterton

Three Firecrest around the town today. One along the Otter, just south of White Bridge, another on South Farm Road and the third bird along the West Cliffs.

Firecrest, Budleigh Salterton by Chris Townend

Posted November 4th, 2019 at 10:04 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Exeter Higher Cemetery

Quick visit to see if any Redwing had returned and wasn't disappointed. About 6-8 mainly around/feeding on Yew Tree berries especially the large Yew in the north-west corner of the cemetery..Also Jay, Green Woodpecker, Greenfinch, a brief glimpse of a Goldcrest pair and all the usual tits etc. 

Green Woodpecker    Greenfinch    Green Sandpiper (Northbrook, viewed from Rifford Road)
  Green Woodpecker            Greenfinch            Green Sandpiper (Northbrook, viewed from Rifford Road)

Posted November 4th, 2019 at 3:52 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding


1 Male Firecrest in the ivy on the side of the road, by the ford lane entrance to the bridal path. 

Posted November 4th, 2019 at 2:01 pm by Matt C in General Birding

Sunday 3rd November 2019


Three Green Sandpipers on the floods this afternoon.

Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 8:28 pm by Will Salmon in General Birding

Torbay and South Brent

A funny old days birding ~ Up at first light movement of Redwings coming into feed in the Holly trees around the house field, Heron overhead.
On the way to Broadsands another Heron seen at Dartington.
Broadsands coastal was a big round zero, calm sea but nothing of any interest to be seen, in the back car park briefest views of a foraging Firecrest, one Goldcrest, Bullfinch, Jay and a large flock of high flying Wood pigeons headed west down the coast.
Around Brixham harbour and the Shoalstone again nothing of any note seen.
Youngs Park several Tufted duck, one Heron, Jay, Wrens and another flock of westward bound high flying Wood pigeons.
Back home at South Brent, Redwings feeding on Holly berries up until dusk and while watching them a tiercel Peregrine came in over at low level checking out my pigeon lofts (or at least checking out the contents !!)

Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 5:29 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


The reserve was positively bursting with birds late this morning (well, compared to yesterday - 3 species recorded)!

Good numbers of Tits, Finches and Redwings, and the first Reed Bunting for several months. Sparrowhawk over again. Little Egret out on the scrape.

A Speckled Wood (last butterfly this year?) and a Migrant Hawker were on the wing along with several Bumble Bees.

Oddly with all the mud in the water yesterday, there was a Dipper in the river by the bridge.

Jay and Nuthatch in my garden early on.


Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 5:23 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Hope's Nose


Male Black Redstart showing well in the quarry.

Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 4:16 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Snipe, Kingfisher & 6 Greenshank on Blaxton Meadow this morning. Four Mandarin Ducks & a redhead Red-breasted Merganser on the estuary.

Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 4:09 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

03-11-19 Redwings and Mistle Thrush at FPC

Redwings and Mistle Thrushes back in Ford Park Cemetery, but no sign yet of the Black Redstart


Mistle Thrush
Mistle Thrush

Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 12:41 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Isley Marsh.

Now 4 Spoonbill on Isley roosting on this mornings high tide .      Around 200 Teal and 12 Black tailed Godwit on adjacent Gaya trust pond.    Just 5 Med gulls on river Torridge.

Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 12:21 pm by Malcolm Shakespeare in General Birding


Prompted by Peter Reay's report on 31/10/19 of inland sightings of Black Redstarts I had an early morning look at some of their favourite roofs, above the Lower Ferry, in Kingswear today.I quickly came across 3 together on a roof catching the early morning sun.

Posted November 3rd, 2019 at 11:28 am by Steven O'Donoghue in General Birding

Saturday 2nd November 2019

Merlin - Dawlish Warren

Female Merlin chasing pipits over Dawlish Warren Beach at 4.45 this afternoon. Then flew off very low over the sea towards Dawlish.

Posted November 2nd, 2019 at 8:15 pm by Peter & Carole Leigh in General Birding


Two Eiders, a Great Northern Diver & a Grey Seal in the Sound, a Pheasant on the Hoe, a Common Sandpiper in the Cattewater & on the lower Plym Estuary, 33 Turnstones & 3 Little Grebes.

Posted November 2nd, 2019 at 5:17 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

Long-billed Dowitcher and a few snipe around, plus the usual

Posted November 2nd, 2019 at 11:48 am by Tim Smith in General Birding

Friday 1st November 2019

Blackcap in Exeter

First Blackcap of the winter (male) at garden feeders this morning.

Posted November 1st, 2019 at 5:52 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

By the time I go to Wrafton Pond, it was coming on dusk, needless to say the Scaup wasn't showing, but a pair of Tufted Duck, and a pair of Gadwall were, along with a lone female Goldeneye and a notable increase in Coot numbers.

Posted November 1st, 2019 at 5:06 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


Three black redstarts in the quarry near the wire fence, also a woodcock flushed out from the quarry and flew around twice then out over the headland.

Posted November 1st, 2019 at 3:10 pm by roger jewell & mike gibson in General Birding

Goosander and Fieldfare Hennock Reservoirs

There are now 24 Goosander on Tottiford Reservoir, including 3 males. Nearby about 30 Fieldfare flew in from the south east preceded by 7 Mistle thrush. First Fieldfare I’ve seen this season. 

Posted November 1st, 2019 at 1:49 pm by Fiona Freshney in General Birding

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