Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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 21st November 2019


The Velvet Scoter was again off the mussel farm buoys, nearby 5 Common Scoter looking toward Torquay and closer to shore 7 Great Northern and 1 Red-throated Diver.

Posted November 21st, 2019 at 3:44 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Baggy Point

Returned to Baggy Point again early this morning to check a single bird that flew in  in failing light as we were leaving

It kept a  distance from the main flock & managed to obtain just a few poor quality photos of it in strong SE winds before leaving. While going through the Scoter photos late last night decided I needed to check out this bird again this morning to confirm identification.

The Common Scoter flock this am were approx.1000 metres away & it took me nearly 2 hours to obtain this record shot!

Pleased to report that it was what I thought it was - Velvet Scoter.

Posted November 21st, 2019 at 2:03 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

N. Hallsands.

A SIBERIAN Chiffchaff caught this morning ( ' tristis' plumage type ). Also present 1 Firecrest ( ringed, a 1st. Yr. f.) ,and 3 Goldcrests. Overhead 2 Redwings.

Siberian Chiffchaff
Siberian Chiffchaff

Posted November 21st, 2019 at 1:09 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 19th November 2019

Start Pt. / N. Hallsands / Stokenham.

So few were migrants this morning, that I would not have reported them ; but so stunning was the sunrise at Start Pt. ,t I decided to share the photo . At Start 1 Redwing and 3 Song Thrushes in the sycamores ,several Blackbirds alarm calling and 3 Goldcrests in the bushes.  At N. Hallsands 1Chiffchaff, 1Blackcap and 2 Goldcrests. At Stokenham a BlackRedstart ( f./ imm. ) on the roof of the pink cottage behind the church

Just after sunrise.  Start Pt.
Just after sunrise. Start Pt.

1st. Yr. f.
1st. Yr. f.

Posted November 19th, 2019 at 2:22 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


The drake 2nd winter Surf Scoter was again off Broadsands early afternoon with 6 common Scoter & a Goldeneye (rarer in the last decade than Surf Scoter in Torbay!). I didn't check from the headland but there were 2 Great Northern Divers, 2 Red-throated Divers and 2 Great Crested Grebes.all visible from the sea wall by the cafe in the car park.

Posted November 19th, 2019 at 2:04 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 18th November 2019

Middle Soar to Southdown Farm.

Some good numbers this morning with 1800 woodpigeons moving east, 29 stock doves, 680 herring gulls, 800 skylarks, 130 starlings & 160 carrion crows. Also: 11 long-tailed tits moving through, 12 meadow pipits, redwing, 65 house sparrows, 17 blackbirds, 26 cirl buntings, 2 snipe, lapwing, 16 yellowhammers, 12 song thrushes & 40 linnets.

Non-avian: 4 red admirals.

Posted November 18th, 2019 at 4:03 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 17th November 2019


A drake Surf Scoter (probably 2nd winter) was with up to 16 Common Scoter off the headland at Broadsands today, also 1 Red-throated Diver and 2 Great Crested Grebes.

Surf Scoter Drake Broadsands 17 Nov 2019

Posted November 17th, 2019 at 6:22 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Ore Stone

Ore stone, Hope's Nose

1 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Knot

Purple Sandpiper  Knot
Purple Sandpiper                          Knot

Posted November 17th, 2019 at 5:19 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saunton Sands

During a WeBS count this morning on Saunton Sands managed to get a couple of photos (from behind a sand dune) of a single Merlin which was feeding on a prey item on the strandline.


Posted November 17th, 2019 at 3:07 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 16th November 2019

Slapton Ley

Highlight today was the return of presumably the same Ring-necked Duck present last winter, ( last year it returned on 28th October ). It was in Stokeley Bay. Also present 2 Scaups ( male and fcy male ), Black-necked Grebe ( right of Stokeley hide ), 12 Pochards, 110 Tufted Ducks, 3 Goldeneyes, 11 Gadwalls and a Teal. Offshore quiet, single Great Northern Diver and Grey Seal.

Posted November 16th, 2019 at 5:50 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

N Hallsands.

Very few migrants this morning . 4 Firecrests. 3 caught, all 1st. Yr. f's ,one of which was a retrapped bird from the 27 th. Oct. ( Between 1 and 4 regularily overwinter at this site ) Also present 3 Goldcrests and 1 Chiffchaff. No apparent overhead movement.

1st. Yr. f.
1st. Yr. f.

Posted November 16th, 2019 at 1:04 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 15th November 2019


Rather quiet this morning bird-wise, with 6 Redwings, 4 Goldcrests, Snipe, 20 Stock Doves & a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Mammals provided a bit more interest: Hare, Weasel, Roe Deer & 4 Sika Deer.

Later Hallsands produced: Firecrest, Cetti’s Warbler, 2 Chiffchaffs & a Blackcap.

Posted November 15th, 2019 at 3:36 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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