General Birding

Missing Devon rarity records 2018 UPDATE

We have had a good response to the request for missing descriptions for a number of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. Thank you to those who have made the effort to provide these.

However some descriptions remain outstanding meaning, as things stand, they will not make the official record as part of the 2018 Devon Bird Report. It would be a great shame to lose these records but the report deadline is pressing.

If you saw any of these birds (you don’t have to be the finder) please can you submit a description and/or photos asap to Kev Rylands: Thank you.

Cory’s Shearwater (2) Ilfracombe 28 July
Cory’s Shearwater Thurlestone 26 August
Glossy Ibis Exe Estuary 21-27 October
Golden Oriole Blaxton Meadow 18 April
Great White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March
Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May
Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May
Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August
Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August
Tree Sparrow Haldon 20 May

Posted September 24th at 8:44 am by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Please take extra care when visiting Dawlish Warren. We have been informed that due to the recent bad weather there has been significant erosion from Groyne 10 eastwards. This means that access along the site, to and from Warren Point (and the bird hide) will be via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! Signs have been put up to alert people to the hazards, but people need to be aware that access routes that they have become used to may not be available and they need to exercise extreme caution,  with the possibility of being cut off by the tide, and people are strongly urged not to try climbing the sand cliffs. Further information is available on the Teignbridge District Council website.

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 11:08 am 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 us 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 by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Thursday 21st February 2019


4 Red Kite circling over Croyde for 15 mins this morning , were seen by Andy Cotton and a further 3 were seen on the Devon and Somerset border near Long Holcombe Cross, Exmoor, this afternoon.

Posted February 21st at 7:42 pm by Margaret- Phillips in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Eight Mandarin Ducks (5 drakes), 8 Goosanders (2 drakes), 3 Little Grebes, 4 Greenshanks, Common Sandpiper, 3 Wigeon & Grey Wagtail.

Posted February 21st at 6:47 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

RHS Rosemoor

A rather lovely walk around in the sunshine enjoying the burgeoning flowers, saw both Red Admiral and Brimstone.

Posted February 21st at 4:31 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Lower Tamar lake

This morning at the lake.
18 Tufted Duck, 1f Ring-necked Duck, 4 Marsh Tit, 2 Willow Tit (one showing Leucistic on the tail) 9 Wigeon, 4f Goosander, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Green Sandpiper.

Posted February 21st at 2:57 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Bursdon Moor

Early this morning 1f Hen Harrier 

Posted February 21st at 2:57 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Dartford Warbler

A single Dartford warbler showing well today, seemed to be enjoying the sunshine

Dartford Warbler

Dartford Warbler

Posted February 21st at 2:53 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

21-02-19 Peregrine Falcon on Roborough Down

Roborough Down today saw a single Peregrine Falcon, managed to take a few shots, but gone in seconds

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

Posted February 21st at 2:51 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding


The 2 Red-necked Grebes were together in Elberry Cove  for the  first half of morning (initially separate but came together c. 08:30) but had drifted further away, when I returned for a second visit at midday.

3 Common Scoter (m) flew S c.09:20.

At least 3 Gt N Divers (1 in Broadsands Bay c.08:00; 2 near the mussel beds around same time; with 1 in Elberry Cove, later c. midday on my return).

At least 7 Cirl (3m, 4f); 5 Reed (1m, 4f) Buntings; 6 Yellowhammer (2m, 4f) seen down on the seed at any one time, late morning + several Greenfinches & Chaffinches.

Grey Seal at Broadsands briefly c. 11:45.

Posted February 21st at 1:54 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Roadford Pinkfoot

I think a Pinkfoot Goose just south of the viaduct/bridge by the hide. But long range for my optics.

Posted February 21st at 12:24 pm by Peter Howard in General Birding

Wednesday 20th February 2019

Exe Estuary

Highlights from this afternoon's Stuart Line cruise: the ‘resident’ Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood as usual; 3 immature drake Eiders off Starcross; 5 Greenshanks, mostly off Powderham; about 20 Great Crested Grebes and maybe 30 Red-breasted Mergansers scattered up the estuary; over 200 Pintail again around the mouth of the Clyst; large numbers of waders around Turf-Topsham, especially Black-tailed Godwits (1000?), Lapwings (1000?), Golden Plover (500?), Dunlin and Avocets with smaller numbers of Bar-tailed Godwits, Knot and Grey Plover. 2 or 3 Grey Seals included one hauled out on a pontoon off Dawlish Warren.

Posted February 20th at 9:59 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Roborough Down 20/02/19

Today was one of those days when I should have stayed in bed.  Got onto the Downs about 1030 and it started with 5 or 6 Meadow Pipits which were always 50 yds ahead of me. Then I met up with a Bullfinch (m) which stayed hidden from the camera in the thickest part of a tree. Then moved onto to the Green Woodpecker site near Clearbrook only to see it fly over and head into the moors. At three o'clock I gave up and caught the bus home.

Posted February 20th at 7:44 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

The female Red-crested Pochard is back; also Jack Snipe, 2 Snipe, 3 redhead Goosanders, Shag, 11 Mandarin Ducks (6 drakes), 2 Common Sandpipers, 5 Wigeon (1 drake), 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Green Woodpeckers (heard) & 6 Roe Deer. 

Posted February 20th at 5:57 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Isley marsh. & Fremington pil

At low tide yesterday no spoonbills seen, but we did see 1500 plus golden plover,. At fremington the glossy ibis was showing well with a spoonbill on the left hand side of the quay, (not ringed)

Posted February 20th at 10:42 am by roger jewell & mikegibson in General Birding

Tuesday 19th February 2019

North Devon

Pair of Swans in the reserve at Velator this morning, and a Water Rail calling.

At the Skern this afternoon, Very high numbers of Common Gulls, 2 Lesser Black-backs, 3 Knot, c150 Dunlin, 30/40 Redshank. at least 4 Mediterranean Gulls.

Stopped briefly at Fremington Pill on the way home where at least 34 Egrets in the roost of which at least 3 were Cattle Egrets, plus the Glossy Ibis.

Posted February 19th at 7:38 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Fremington Pill & Penhill Marsh

The Glossy Ibis was busy foraging in the tidal channel at Fremington Pill this morning.

The 10 Cattle Egrets were on Penhill Marsh again.

Posted February 19th at 6:38 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

East Devon

Talk about being in the right place at the right time, witnessed two Male Dartford Warblers trying to attract a Female. Unfortunately couldn't get all three in focus.

Dartford Warbler
Dartford Warbler

Posted February 19th at 5:51 pm by simon Thurgood in General Birding

River Taw, Home Farm Marsh, Fremington

2f Scaup reported yesterday still present on the river at 4.30pm.  1 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Grey Plover 

Posted February 19th at 5:31 pm by Paul Bearman in General Birding

Harleston by Slapton

60 Fieldfare on the move over the garden with several Redwing.

Small Tortoiseshell in garden.

Posted February 19th at 4:49 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Otter Valley-Estuary

A very pleasant morning fieldtrip for 23 members of DB (East Devon Branch).  We divided into two groups under our new policy to split the group where members exceed 15 and walked in opposite directions around the circular paths of the lower estuary led by myself and Tim Channon.   

A combined total of 49 species was counted with equal numbers (but some different species) being seen by the two groups.  The scrapes were generally lacking in bird species and numbers with a few Teal and a single Shoveler.  Of interest were 3 Water Rail in ditches along the road, 4 Snipe in the field near Whitebridge and good views of a Firecrest 100 yards down the west path from the cottages.  2 Gt spotted Woodpecker were seen drumming and courtship behaviour was noted for Stock Dove, Robin, Blue Tit and 5 Shelduck.  A Magpie was seen carrying nesting material.

Posted February 19th at 4:40 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Bunting Bonanza - Broadsands

Some belated picks from a visit to the "Emberiza Hide" at Broadsands, 12.2.19.


1                                                                    2                                                                 3


4                                                                   5                                                                  6

  1. Reed Bunting [f]
  2. Reed Bunting [m]
  3. Yellowhammer [m] (Cirl Bunting [m] in background)
  4. Cirl Bunting [f]
  5. & 6. Cirl Bunting [m]

Posted February 19th at 4:15 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding



Male Black Redstart showing well on roofs and balconies of Windward Court and Leeward Court, Shelly Beach. 

Later, 70+ twittering and wheezing finches in trees around the car park at Ideford Common. Predominantly Siskins, but also Chaffinches, Goldfinches and a few Redpoll. 

Lone Greenshank at Passage House. 


Posted February 19th at 1:51 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding


2 Black-necked Grebes & 1 Slavonian Grebe (with one of the Black-necked). 8 Reed Bunting and 13 Cirl Buntings on seed in 2nd car park also 1 singing Chiffchaff.

Posted February 19th at 10:05 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Monday 18th February 2019

Exe Estuary

Highlights from today's Stuart Line cruise: Great Northern Diver off Exmouth seafront, Slavonian Grebe off Cockwood, 3 immature drake Eiders on Bull Hill, at least 22 Sanderlings scattered along the sandbank fringes and at least 6 Greenshanks, mostly off Powderham. Five Goldeneye (2 drakes) towards Lympstone, c12 Great Crested Grebes and c30 Red-breasted Mergansers scattered up the estuary; again 200+ Pintail, mostly around the mouth of the Clyst. Many waders again around Turf-Topsham, especially Black-tailed Godwits (1000+?), Lapwings (1500+), Golden Plover (700), Dunlin and Avocets, with smaller numbers of Bar-tailed Godwits and Knot (c50).

Posted February 18th at 10:14 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding


Finally getting mobile enough to get back to the reserve today, 3 1/2 weeks after hip replacement. My son and daughter were in the reserve yesterday and reported a pair of Swans present on the pond - not seen any for 3 years. Today, a pair of Little Grebes (male trilling) and a smart pair of Mallard. A few Finches and Tits (including a Coal Tit) and a Treecreeper. Reed Bunting and a couple of Redwings flew over, and a Little Egret was with a  few Teal out on the scrape. 2 Kingfishers in the river.

Posted February 18th at 9:14 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


Spotted Redshank again this evening.Also 19 med gulls,15 adults 6 of which were full bp,3 2w and 1 in fs plumage.3 knot 3 grey plover 1 barwit 148 wigeon 255 oystercatcher 3 curlew 100 dunlin 6 common gull 300 bhg  19 Redshank. 17:00-17:30.

Posted February 18th at 8:34 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding


A Lesser Whitethroat seen briefly three times in my garden (Mount Gould) today. Presumably the bird I saw nearby on 3rd Jan.

A brief look at Blaxton Meadow tonight produced 2 Snipe, 165 Redshanks, 6 Greenshanks, Common Sandpiper & 56 Curlews. Also around Plym Estuary: 10 Little Egrets, 5 Goosanders (1 drake), 11 Wigeon (5 drakes), 25+ Turnstones & Chiffchaff. 

Posted February 18th at 6:41 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis at Fremington Pill and Cormorant on Ilfracombe Pier.

Glossy IbisCormorant
Glossy Ibis                                     Cormorant Eds - This is a Shag

Posted February 18th at 6:28 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis at Fremington Pill today at low tide.

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Posted February 18th at 6:21 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Soar Mill Valley

Firecrest in scrub just below Lower Soar.

Posted February 18th at 4:21 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

River Taw. Home Farm

2 f Greater Scaup / 3 SpoonbillJune

Posted February 18th at 1:34 pm by Gordon Westley in General Birding

Sunday 17th February 2019

Bowling Green Marsh

Glossy Ibis dropped on to far 'island' around 4pm, similar reports from Saturday 16th. Also female Ruff, 10+ Snipe and a few more Avocets than of late, owing to lower water levels 

Posted February 17th at 10:39 pm by Tim Smith in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A max this winter of 296 Dunlins (all on Blaxton Meadow) and my first Mediterranean Gulls of the year here - 2 adults and a 2nd winter. Also: 6 Goosanders (2 drakes), 11 Wigeon (5 drakes), 2 Common Sandpipers, 18 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 6 Greenshanks, Stock Dove, Sparrowhawk & 3 Roe Deer. 

Posted February 17th at 6:32 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Spotted Redshank with a group of 11 Redshank on the Skern over high tide at 4.15. A flock of c400 Black-headed Gulls we’re tidying up before going to roost, with 8 Mediterranean Gulls and 30 Common Gulls

Posted February 17th at 5:24 pm by Roger Doble in General Birding

Exe Estuary cruise

On today's Stuart Line cruise, the ‘resident’ Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood and 3 immature drake Eiders were on or near Bull Hill. Several Goldeneye (1 drake) were seen distantly towards Lympstone and 4 Greenshanks around Powderham. Around 20 Great Crested Grebes and maybe 30 Red-breasted Mergansers were scattered up the estuary, with some 200 Pintail around the mouth of the Clyst. The mudbanks around Turf-Topsham had spectacular numbers of waders, with large flocks of Black-tailed Godwits (1000?), Lapwings (1300+) and Golden Plover (700), with smaller numbers of Avocets, Bar-tailed Godwits (100?) and Knot (50?), plus a large flock of Brent Geese. Gulls included 10+ Lesser Black-backed and 380 Common Gulls. A female Goldeneye passed us as we returned towards Turf.

Posted February 17th at 4:55 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Torbay Boat Trip

Some pics from the Torbay Boat Trip

Red-necked Grebe   Purple Sandpiper
Red-necked Grebe                            Purple Sandpiper

Posted February 17th at 3:49 pm by simon Thurgood in General Birding


On the sea off of Marine parade, Paignton, a Great Northern Diver and a fly past from an Eider duck that then landed on the sea off of Paignton Green. Around the rocks Oyster Catcher and Turnstone.

Broadsands ~ Cirl Buntings showing well in the back car park, along with female Reed Bunting, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Dunnock and a growing number of House Sparrow.

Posted February 17th at 3:47 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Torbay Boat Trip.

Last boat trip this winter from Brixham around Torbay was in dull and wet conditions. South Westerly winds which kept us well into the Bay. 10 Grey Seals in Brixham Harbour, the sea was too rough to go around Berry Head. A list of birds seen from the trip. 8 Mute Swans Brixham Harbour, 3 Purple Sandpiper, 12+ Turnstone, 35+ Fulmar, Common Gull, Kittiwake, 2 Heron, 1 Little Egret, Gannets, Great Black-backed Gulls, Cormorants, Shag and 3 Peregrine on our journey.

Posted February 17th at 2:47 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Hembury Woods

1 Woodcock, Hembury Woods, early am.

Posted February 17th at 12:38 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Saturday 16th February 2019

Rock Pipit

Rock pipit seen on Croyde beach.

Rock pipit
Rock pipit

Posted February 16th at 11:50 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Topsham Birdwatching and Naturalist Society

Thank you so much for the publicity you recently gave to the TBNS meeting when the speaker was Dominic Couzens !  We had a very successful time with over 100 in the Hall. I really am most grateful , Thank you so much .

The Devon Birds Blog is terrific , both informative and educational !

Roger Brooks 

Posted February 16th at 8:26 pm by Roger Brooks in General Birding

Cirl Buntings Prawle Pt

10-12 Cirl Buntings in field to west of Prawle Pt on ground near troughs.

Posted February 16th at 7:42 pm by R Mogridge in General Birding

West Down, Ilfracombe

Incredibly, a Swallow flew up our valley and perched in the top of a tree, this morning. The earliest I have ever experienced.

Posted February 16th at 12:25 pm by Chris Dee in General Birding

Friday 15th February 2019

Plym Estuary

Glorious sunshine for today’s Blaxton event where volunteers & a National Trust Ranger showed 67 visitors birds on the Meadow including Kingfisher, 2 Stock Doves & a Common Sandpiper. The usual Curlew and Oystercatcher flocks were present, but the bulk of waders (including over 200 Dunlins) did not leave the wall on the far side of the estuary. Thanks to everyone involved. Earlier, also 7 Goosanders (1 drake)  on the estuary.

Posted February 15th at 5:53 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Beautiful spring like day here, a singing Songthrush, a Buzzard displaying over the marsh, this Grey Wagtail was having a good wash and saw this one of 14 Snipes flying around the marsh. There were also 3 singing Cetti's Warblers and 6 Chiffchaffs around the marsh.


Posted February 15th at 4:58 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in General Birding

Aylesbeare Common

Dartford Warbler

Dartford Warbler
Dartford Warbler

Posted February 15th at 4:37 pm by Colin Scott in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

6 Willow Tits at three different locations around the lake.

Posted February 15th at 3:48 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

15-02-19 Ford Park Cemetery

The male Black Redstart Still showing well on the East side of the Chapels, nothing much else around, except the usual small birds, and a Goldcrest showing fairly well 

Black RedstartGoldcrest

                Black Redstart                                                             Goldcrest

Posted February 15th at 3:20 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh this morning

A lot of Brent Geese activity, lots and lots overflying. Also a Red Kite over 11:30ish.

Posted February 15th at 2:22 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

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