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


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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 14th February 2019

14-02-19 Haldon Brambling

This morning at Haldon, the Female Brambling showed twice between 10 & 11am, plenty of Siskins male & female along with chaffinches, Song thrush, Blackbirds, Sparrows and all the usual Tits

Female BramblingSiskin
          Female Brambling                                            Siskin

Posted February 14th at 6:56 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding


one male Brambling, two male Siskins & one female Siskin feeding along with twelve Chaffinches on lawn this morning

Posted February 14th at 6:01 pm by Mary Irving in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Golden Plover flock (and others) off Turf Lock today. Not much of note on the marsh . Huge numbers of Lapwing.

Golden plover video.

Posted February 14th at 4:45 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Tarka trail Anchorwoods - Penhill marsh

13:00 - 14:00. still 10 Cattle egret among the sheep flock also 5 Little Egret on the marsh nearest to Barnstaple. On the river off Anchorwoods 1x Greenshank

Cattle Egret   Greenshank
Cattle Egret                           Greenshank

Posted February 14th at 2:49 pm by Roy Churchill in General Birding

Wednesday 13th February 2019

Bowling Green Marsh

Great day out with lots of birds at Bowling Green Marsh & on the Exe Estuary. Could not resist counting the 176 Pintail present on the Marsh at high tide! My first Comma Butterfly for 2019.


Posted February 13th at 7:11 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Jack Snipe, 2 Snipe, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers (1 drake), 12 Goosanders (3 drakes), 7 Little Grebes, Shag, 250 Dunlins, 6 Greenshanks, 55 Curlews, 6 Wigeon (2 drakes), Kingfisher, c30 Turnstones, Common Sandpiper, 11 Mandarin Ducks (6 drakes), Stonechat, 2 Stock Doves, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 4 Nuthatches & my first kestrel of 2019 here.

Posted February 13th at 6:57 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

PLYMOUTH. ford park cemetery

the long staying male black redstart is still showing well behind the chapels, excellent plumage,  lets hope he finds a mate soon

Posted February 13th at 4:41 pm by roger jewell in General Birding

Yarner & Haldon

Yarner Wood ~ very little to be seen in the way of bird life other than the usual woodland tit species, no sign or reports from other birders of the recent Redpoll flock, only high light were two Goldcrest in with a small flock of Long Tailed Tits.

During the visit two Red Admiral butterflies seen on the wing.

Haldon visitor centre ~ Lots of Coal Tits around the feed station along with small numbers of Siskin, a few Chaffinch and eventually a female Brambling showed, two GSWP, one Greenfinch, a Song Thrush, a fly over from a solitary Crossbill.

Coal Tit

Posted February 13th at 4:22 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Roborough Down/Clearbrook 13th Feb 2019

A dry day with heavy cloud and sunny spells (which were in short supply), as were the birds. Noted a pair of Greenfinch, some Stonechats  &  Meadow Pipits, a Chaffinch & a Robin. Near Clearbrook was a Green Woodpecker who saw me coming and hid in an Ivy covered tree, and on the way back to Tavistock Road for the bus back home noted a Kestrel and a pair of Rabbits chasing each other around like silly beggars. Spring must be in the air.

Posted February 13th at 3:52 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Penhill Marsh, R.Taw, Barnstaple. 11.00-13.00

At 11.15 there were just 3 Cattle Egret on the marsh in amongst the grazing sheep but by 12.30 they had increased to 10.

9 Little Egret in the field below Anchor Wood and 3 more on the marsh. c156 Dark-bellied Brent geese grazing on the marsh

3 Little Egret in the tree roost at the top end of Fremington Pill plus 3 Greenshank and c100 Redshank in the Pill.

Posted February 13th at 1:18 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Tuesday 12th February 2019

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning at the Lake
9 Goosander 3m 6f, 3 Mute Swan, 3 Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, 1 Little Egret, 1m Reed Bunting, 1 Nuthatch, 3 Long-tailed Tit,1m Pintail, 1 Ring-necked Duck (Harvey Kendall)

Posted February 12th at 7:50 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Northbrook, - Matford marshes

Usual birds along the Northbrook but nice to see the Mallard pair return for another breeding season. Also further down towards Salmon Pool, a pair of Siskin, lots of Redwing and a couple of Song Thrush, GSW and appropriately for today a goal tending Common Buzzard. Matford Marsh had the usual species but a Water Rail and Bullfinch along the back path were the highlights.

SiskinMallardGoaltending Buzzard.
Siskin                                                         Mallard                                      Goaltending Buzzard.

Posted February 12th at 5:10 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Tiverton Garden Watch

5 Blue tit, 1 Coal tit, 1pr Great tit, 6 Longtailed tit, 1 pr Bullfinch, 4m 3f Chaffinch, 22 Goldfinch, 1f Greenfinch, 9m 2f Siskin, 3 Robin, 1 Wren, 1 Dunnock, 1pr House Sparrow, 2m 1f Blackbird, 1 Song thrush, 2 Woodpigen & 3 Male Lesser Redpoll. 

Posted February 12th at 4:15 pm by M C Webb in General Birding

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford sewage works and Penhill Marsh 1200-1300

Goosander 7 (3M,4F); Grey Plover 2; Sanderling 6; Golden Plover, just 6 among large flock of Lapwing mid-river. Black-headed Gull with yellow ring, black A/Ns 2H93 on left tarsus.

Penhill Marsh - Cattle Egret 7 among sheep in corner of the marsh nearest where Tarka Trail enters old railway cutting. Dark-bellied Brent Goose c220; Wigeon 12; Little Egret 1.

Posted February 12th at 2:03 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Monday 11th February 2019

Grey Heron

This Heron was rather surprised to spot me in Stokeley Hide (Slapton Ley) last Monday lunchtime.  He flew a short circuit and returned to the same reed bed.

Male Ring-necked Duck and Black-necked Grebe both visible but much too far away to photograph unfortunately.  Nothing on the sea.

Posted February 11th at 8:44 pm by Michael Woodman Smith in General Birding


Lots of skylarks singing today. Still c1000 + Lapwing / Golden Plover flocks around, c 20 shelducks at Horsey. 

Posted February 11th at 8:00 pm by Beth Woollam in General Birding

Cookworthy forest crossbills

8+ Crossbills at Cookworthy Forest, 11th Feb

Common Crossbill mCommon Crossbill juvCommon Crossbill f
Common Crossbill m                     Common Crossbill juv                        Common Crossbill f

Posted February 11th at 7:50 pm by Tim Williams in General Birding

Haldon forest park

3 brambling (1m, 2f) coming in to the feeding station between 11.15 and 2.15 today, among the chaffinches.

Posted February 11th at 6:12 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

A dozen Goosanders (4 drakes), 3 Red-breasted Mergansers (1 drake), 33 Turnstones, Shag, 7 Greenshanks, 9 Wigeon (4 drakes), 3 Snipe (showing on the ground at Blaxton), 2 Kingfishers (1 showing well by Blaxton's sluice), Common Sandpiper, sinensis Cormorant (adult), 10 Mandarin Ducks (6 drakes), Grey Wagtail, 2 Stock Doves & Green Woodpecker. 

Posted February 11th at 6:06 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Soar Mill Valley/Southdown Farm & Bolt Tail

Firecrest in Bolt Tail woods & 50 Wigeon on the sea. At the farm 155 Yellowhammer, 3 Red-legged Partridge, Chiffchaff & 40 Linnet. Across area 28 Song Thrush - a mixture of migrants & a few singing males.

Posted February 11th at 4:33 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Black Redstart - Exmouth

The male Black Redstart still early afternoon behind Shelley Beach, Exmouth on the roof tops of Leeward Court and Windward Court.

Posted February 11th at 3:30 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Haldon forest and Yarner wood 10/02/2019

Lots of birds around the feeders at Haldon. Siskin, chaffinches, a couple of lovely song thrushes and several Great spotted woodpeckers drumming. 3 female brambling and Rob Murphy spotted a male which I missed. Went on to Yarner where there must have been at least 40 Lesser redpoll feeding on the ground. Light was poor, so not good for photos.

BramblingLesser RedpollLesser Redpoll
Brambling                                  Lesser Redpoll                                  Lesser Redpoll

Posted February 11th at 6:33 am by Richie Moore in General Birding

Saturday 9th February 2019

Slapton Ley, Kingsbridge estuary

Some great views of Goldeneye on Slapton Ley at Slapton end of the ley, also Black-necked grebe at Torcross end. On the sea lots of common Scoter I think there could have been as many as 70 in 3 different groups. A couple of fulmar passed and several Gannets quite close in. Also brief views of a porpoise. A Spoonbill in the Kingsbridge estuary viewed from the pumping station.

Goldeneye Spoonbill Common Scoter
Goldeneye                             Spoonbill                                 Common Scoter

Posted February 9th at 8:24 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Between Instow and the Torridge Bridge

Two Spoonbill feeding on both sides of the Torridge below the Torridge Bridge. Neither bird was colour ringed.

Posted February 9th at 5:07 pm by Martin Unwin in General Birding


On the sea: 2 Red-necked Grebes, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 21 Great Crested Grebes and 5 Great Northern Divers.

At the cirl Bunting feeding area in 2nd car park: 19 Cirl, 1 Reed Buntings and 6 Yellowhammers.

Posted February 9th at 1:14 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Friday 8th February 2019

"Male Ruff "Bowling Green Marsh

Late post but as it is still there a photo of the male Ruff at B G Marsh took on the 31st Jan

RuffMale Ruff
Ruff                                                  Male Ruff

Posted February 8th at 10:51 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Collaton St Mary

A message from school teachers that a Bittern was enclosed in the  playing field. Luckily the children had not been allowed on the field during the day because of the conditions.

The RSPCA were called. The bird captured and released in a more suitable neighbouring field.

Posted February 8th at 5:42 pm by David Leigh in General Birding


Yesterday at Slapton Ley got these photos of ducks and Geese.  There were a large number of: Herring gulls; a couple of G.B.B gulls; two or three great crested grebes; Coots; Moorhen and a Mute Swan.

DucksTufted DuckDuck
Tufted Ducks


Posted February 8th at 3:34 am by Martin Bennett in General Birding

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