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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Thursday 14th November 2019

Swallow at Turf Lock, Exminster

A solitary very late Swallow searching for insects in the lock at Turf this afternoon  - where the temperature didn't get above 4 degrees. Good luck little bird, I'm guessing you're going to need it !

Posted November 14th, 2019 at 5:52 pm by Paul Norris in General Birding

Soar Mill Valley & Southdown Farm

Back on the patch after 10 days in Portugal but very quiet; best were 320 woodpigeon moving through, 12 stock dove, 4 bullfinch, 4 alba wagtail, 2 reed bunting, 20 cirl bunting & 10 greenfinch.

Posted November 14th, 2019 at 4:46 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Woodbury castle

At least 6 brambling with a large number of chaffinches feeding on beech mast about 12.30.

Posted November 14th, 2019 at 2:20 pm by roger jewell &mike Gibson in General Birding


Female red crested Pochard showing well at 10am.

Posted November 14th, 2019 at 2:13 pm by roger jewell & mike gibson in General Birding


We live in an exposed spot in Newton Ferrers.  On 1st November there was a severe gale with winds up to 80 mph recorded.  Previous to this we had up to 10 goldfinches, 6-8 blue tits, 4 coal tits, 2great tits, 4dunnocks, 2robins and a number of other occasionals, visiting our feeders regularly. For 3days we saw no birds at all.  Now we are seeing 2 goldfinches, 2 blue tits, 2 coal tits, 1 great tit, 2 dunnocks, 1 robin.   
Has anyone else experienced such a loss?  

Posted November 14th, 2019 at 7:59 am by Duncan & Angela Macpherson in General Birding

Wednesday 13th November 2019

Exe Estuary cruise

This afternoon's Stuart Lines cruise yielded impressive flocks of wildfowl off Dawlish Warren and Exmouth-Lympstone, mostly Brent Geese and Wigeon, but off Lympstone including 11 Pale-bellied Brents, 2 Black Swans and some 230 Pintail. Best was perhaps the female Common Scoter off Powderham. The Slavonian Grebe again had a Little Grebe companion off Cockwood, and a female Goldeneye was nearby. Equally impressive were the waders feeding around Turf-Topsham (as on Saturday), with some 300 Avocets, several hundred Lapwings and well over 500 Golden Plover roosting near Turf; Black-tailed Godwits could well have been into four figures. I had five sightings of seals, two seen well being Grey Seals (one on a pontoon off Dawlish Warren).

Posted November 13th, 2019 at 10:03 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford sewage works. 1230-1345

Apart from the usual there were 5 dark-bellied Brent geese off Penhill Marsh and 15 Goosander (10M & 5 redheads) in the channel off Pottington Ind.est plus just 1 Grey Plover.

Posted November 13th, 2019 at 5:18 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding


After a few days away, took a quick tour of the reserve this afternoon. Nothing in the feeders, so not much to see. Male Blackcap, Song Thrush and a few Redwings, plus a Water Rail.

Also of interest was the big mechanical cutter dealing with all the vegetation on the embankment from the bridge right down to opposite Marstage Farm. Looked like the same vehicle that was dealing with the hedge near the big black barn. So, I went along to ask. Yes he said they've been asked to keep it clear so that the Environment Agency can get at the embankment if it needs repairs. Good news I thought.

I also asked if the balloons from last week were anything to do with the project and he said 'No' so I apologise if I have inadvertently misled anyone.

Posted November 13th, 2019 at 4:27 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Instow Beach - low tide

35 Brent Geese and three pairs of Wigeon

Posted November 13th, 2019 at 4:13 pm by Steve Wheale in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh this morning

Quite a few Goldcrests down the lane to the hide. Of note were a female Goldeneye and the first winter Long Billed Dowitcher on the end of the central peninsula, better views than last time.Forty species in all.

Posted November 13th, 2019 at 3:12 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

Lee Moor 13-11-19 - Red Crested Pochard

Red Crested Pochard still at the first mica dam just outside Lee Moor

Posted November 13th, 2019 at 1:48 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Melbury forest n.devon

At least 5 Crossbills.2 seen feeding & 3 flyovers.Larger flock over but unable to gain numbers because of tree cover.Also 2 Brambling,m&f with 30 chaffinches.There have been over 100 recently at my. feeding station.10siskin&50 goldfinch seen.

Posted November 13th, 2019 at 1:36 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Plymouth Estuary/Saltram

Seen on this morning's high tide.

40 Curlew, 2 Blk T Godwit, 100+ Dunlin, 132 Redshank, 17 Snipe, 28 Turnstone, 7 Greenshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Oystercatcher, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Goosander (f) and 38 Fieldfare.

Posted November 13th, 2019 at 1:29 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Tuesday 12th November 2019

Cattle Egrets...Fremington Pill.

4pm...... Three cattle egrets in high tide roost near top of Pill. Joined by Glossy Ibis and the little egrets later on. Good views of Spotted Redshank feeding quite close to road. 

Posted November 12th, 2019 at 11:10 pm by Sue Ambler in General Birding

Budleigh Salterton and Woodbury Common

Two Ring-necked Parakeets flying over the Green today were the first I have seen in Budleigh town.

Posted November 12th, 2019 at 8:48 pm by Chris Townend in General Birding

Ernesettle , river Tamar.

I saw this today , swimming with a 6 Mallard. Any idea what it may be?

Eds: Its a feral Mallard perhaps crossed with some other duck

Posted November 12th, 2019 at 4:10 pm by Peter Castle in General Birding

Lee Moor

The Female Red Crested Pochard on the first mica pond on the left leaving Lee Moor on B3417

Posted November 12th, 2019 at 4:07 pm by Tony Hooper in General Birding

12-11-19 Ford Park Cemetery

Plenty of Redwings at FCP this morning, this one was very compliant and seemed to like it's photo taken 


Posted November 12th, 2019 at 1:46 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Teign Estuary- Leucistic Oystercatcher

This bird was on the foreshore, close to the bridge ,this morning.

Posted November 12th, 2019 at 12:06 pm by Steven O'Donoghue in General Birding

Monday 11th November 2019

Between Instow and the Torridge Bridge

Four Spoonbill feeding on both sides of the Torridge between 8.45 and 9.15. All flew down towards Zeta Berth on the eastern bank. None appeared to be ringed.

Posted November 11th, 2019 at 9:18 am by Martin Unwin in General Birding

Sunday 10th November 2019

Plym Estuary

On Blaxton Meadow late afternoon: Kingfisher, 13 Oystercatchers, 29 Curlews, 3 Greenshanks, 119 Redshanks, 85 Dunlin & 21 Shelducks.

Posted November 10th, 2019 at 5:47 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Exeter Hawfinches (probably)

A flock of 8-10 large-finch-sized birds flew across the river as I was walking home at around 1430, but disappeared into the trees around Larkbeare House before I could get the bins on them. The flight call matches some of those from Belgium and elsewhere on xeno-canto, so I am pretty sure.

Will look for them in the morning; probably best to watch from the West bank, or maybe Colleton Hill.

Posted November 10th, 2019 at 4:37 pm by James Camden in General Birding

Torquay Harbour


9 Purple Sandpipers and 8 Turnstones at Haldon Pier. 

Posted November 10th, 2019 at 3:39 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

Occombe, Paignton

For the second time in the last couple of weeks a solitary Redwing, where are all the others? Good sightings of a pair of Buzzards, a small flock of about 20 Goldfinch. Green Woodpecker and a Jay in the orchard. Around the feeders in front of the hide were numerous Great Tits, several Blue Tits, plus Blackbird, Robin, Dunnock and a Nuthatch.

Posted November 10th, 2019 at 12:55 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

central park plymouth

Around 70 ringneck parakeet 

Posted November 10th, 2019 at 9:10 am by barry insull 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

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