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  Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug 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
Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May  


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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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 February 2019


Preston: 6 Black-necked Grebes, 1 Great Crested Grebe.

Goodrington: 1 Black-necked Grebe, 6 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Black-throated Diver.

Broadsands: 2 Red-necked Grebes, 1 Great Northern Diver

Posted February 21st, 2019 at 10:55 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 20th February 2019

Bowling Green Marsh

A quick early morning visit to the hide was rewarded with a Great White Egret. It flew from the far left of the Marsh (hide side) over the railway line towards Darts Farm at around 7:30am. For further details visit

Posted February 20th, 2019 at 6:27 pm by Spencer Dicks in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


The 2 Red-necked Grebes were back at Broadsands this morning one in Elberry Cove the other in Broadsands Bay. Also 15 Cirl Bunting 9 Reed Bunting and 6 Yellowhammer on seed in 2nd car park.

Posted February 20th, 2019 at 10:09 am by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 18th February 2019

Broadsands & Berry Head

2 Black-necked Grebes in Broadsands bay this morning (I didn't check if the Red-necked Grebes were over at Elberry Cove today).

Berry Head: yesterdays fw Glaucous Gull from Broadsands was lingering on the sea with Herring Gulls lunch time today - straight out from the top of the headland. 

Posted February 18th, 2019 at 5:02 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sunday 17th February 2019

Putsborough Sands

The Leucistic plumaged Rock Pipit is still present around the Putsborough Sands Café & Shop looking in good condition feeding on scraps left by customers. For a short time it was joined by another Rock Pipit but there was a size difference between the two!

Posted February 17th, 2019 at 6:19 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Broadsands ~ Glaucous Gull

Approx 11.45hrs this morning a first winter Glaucous gull off of Broadsands, flew off towards Brixham. It was a bit distant so only record images.

Posted February 17th, 2019 at 12:30 pm by Steve Hopper in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 16th February 2019

Fremington Pill

Glossy Ibis feeding well near the top of the tidal reach today at about 15:50 in Fremington Pill. 

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Posted February 16th, 2019 at 7:47 pm by Phil and Sue Naylor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Dartford warblers

At an undisclosed location yesterday we were excited to observe at least two Dartford warblers. The images are taken at a range of about 75 to 100 metres using the 83x zoom of a Nikon Coolpix P900 meaning there was absolutely no disturbance. We watched for about 15 minutes. They were a delight to watch! Guidance WAS sought from Devon Birds about posting the images and the go ahead was given provided no location was disclosed. 

Dartford Warbler against blue skyDartford Warbler on gorse
Dartford Warbler against blue sky                          Dartford Warbler on gorse

Posted February 16th, 2019 at 7:40 pm by Phil and Sue Naylor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

River Taw at Fremington Pill outfall

Seen today on rising tide at about 15:30 at the Fremington Pill outfall was this Scaup Tufted hybrid keeping company with five Widgeon. Just down from the pill outfall were two pairs of Goosander. 

Two male and two female GoosanderScaup Tufted duck hybrid
Two male and two female Goosander                      Scaup Tufted duck hybrid

Eds: Phil this looks to be a female (Greater) Scaup - certainly doesn't appear to be a hybrid.

Posted February 16th, 2019 at 7:28 pm by Phil and Sue Naylor in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts


The two Red-necked Grebes were again over toward Elberry Cove this afternoon also 1 Great Northern Diver. 4 Mediterranean Gulls (3 ads & 1 sw) in the evening Gull roost also 148 Common Gulls and 13 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Posted February 16th, 2019 at 6:39 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Beesands / Slapton Leys

Male Scaup on Beesands Ley, Ring-necked Duck still on Slapton Ley at Torcross this morning.

Posted February 16th, 2019 at 10:36 am by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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