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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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 28th November 2019


Broadsands: this morning 11 Great Northern Divers, 4 Red-throated Divers (including one with the classic Black-throated Diver flank patch), 1 Velvet Scoter, 6 Common Scoter, 3 Great Crested Grebes. 7 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park with 1 Reed Bunting at 0830am  

Posted November 28th, 2019 at 10:38 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 27th November 2019


A check around the beaches in Torbay today found:

Broadsands; 1 Velvet Scoter, 6 Common Scoter, 6 Great Northern Diver, 1 Red-throated Diver, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Mediterranean Gull & 5 Cirl Bunting - No sign of the R-n Grebe today.

Preston: 1 Ad Med Gull, 8 Common Scoter, 1 Great Northern Diver & 1 Red-throated Diver.

Posted November 27th, 2019 at 12:40 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 25th November 2019

Upper & Lower Tamar Lakes

Four Ring-necked Duck, three males and a female in the NW arm of the  Upper Lake. Visiting both counties and the only aythyas present. On the Cornish side two Greylag, a Water Rail and a couple of Marsh Tit. The Lower Lake held 14 Goosander, a Gadwall and a Tufted Duck with at least eight Willow Tit present. 

Posted November 25th, 2019 at 8:02 pm by Kevin Rylands in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


The Blue-winged teal showed well this morning (video link here:  )  on the lower marsh with 3 Tufted Duck, Mallards and Teal. On the beach were 3 Black Redstarts. On the sea to the south there were 54 Common Scoter (but no Velvet today). along the lane back toward the car park: 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Firecrest and 3 Goldcrest

Blue-winged Teal Mansands 25 Nov 2019 ML Blue-winged Teal Mansands 25 November 2019 ML

Posted November 25th, 2019 at 1:42 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 24th November 2019

Sharkham Point & Torbay

After seeing 4 probable Velvet Scoters with Common Scoter at distance from Berry Head on Saturday, I went back this morning with the scope looking from Sharkham Point, just south of Brixham. Indeed there were 4 Velvet Scoter and 11 Common Scoter. Also to the south of the headland were another 65+ Common Svoter and at least one more Velvet Scoter. In scrub at the top of the point were 3 Firecrest and 1 Chiffchaff.

I popped in at Boradsands on my return to find the regular Velvet Scoter, 4 Common Scoter, 4 Great Northern and 1 Red-throated Diver & 5 Great Crested Grebes. 7 Cirl Buntings on seed in the second car park and also 2 Firecrest in bushes beside the car park.

Posted November 24th, 2019 at 4:32 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Kingsbridge Estuary

Geese Quarries - Charleton Marsh, 08:00-11:00, low tide.

8 Great Crested Grebes, 47 Brent Geese, 29 Pintails, 7 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Water Rails, 24 Lapwings, Black-tailed Godwit, Rock Pipit and 2 Firecrests.

Posted November 24th, 2019 at 12:12 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Chillington S.T.W.

Saturday 23rd. ( late post ) A SIBERIAN Chiffchaff with the apparent characteristics of 'tristis' type plumage, but not caught for absolute confirmation. Allso 8 nominate Chiffchaffs,6 Firecrests, 5 Goldcrests ,including a 'continental' bird and 2 Grey Wagtails

Posted November 24th, 2019 at 11:24 am by Alan K. Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 23rd November 2019

Wrafton Pond

The 5 Scaup on the pond this aft in the mizzle.

Posted November 23rd, 2019 at 5:43 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Slapton Ley / Start Bay

Could not find the Ring-necked Duck today but conditions poor at times. Male Scaup still present also 15 Pochards and 3 Goldeneyes. Offshore just one Common Scoter and single Great Northern and Black -throated Diver ( later off Strete Gate ). Good numbers off gulls in area many feeding on Starfish eg c 2500 Herring and c250 Common Gulls.

Posted November 23rd, 2019 at 5:27 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 22nd November 2019


4 Firecrests this morning. 3 caught  ( 2 ringed both 1st. Yr. f's and 1 a retrap from Oct.. ). Another unringed bird present. Very few other migrants , just 2 Goldcrests.

Posted November 22nd, 2019 at 5:17 pm by Alan K. Searle. in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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