Devon Bird Sightings from 15th–21st March 2019

Missing Devon rarity records 2018

Unfortunately no descriptions have been submitted for the following records of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. This means, 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.

If anyone saw 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.

Chough Northam 17-18 July  

Corn Bunting Beer Head 25 August

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 Shearwater (2) Berry Head 20 September

Great White Egret (2) Bridge Marsh, Axe Estuary 13 January

Great White Egret Black Hole Marsh, Axe Estuary 22 August

Great White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March

Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May

Great White Egret Stover 01 October

Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May

Little Bunting Slapton 21 October

Montagu’s Harrier Dartmoor 19 Aug

Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August

Ring-necked Duck Lee Moor 14 October

Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August

Serin South Hallsands 24 April

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 March 2019

Horsey Island

Up to 150 Sand Martins over Horsey Island early evening (18.30) at high tide. Probably all the Sand Martins in the area gathering in one flock just before going into roost. 2 Wheatear at the side of the Toll road on the telephone cables.

Posted March 21st at 9:06 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding


Little of note around Exmouth today. Kittiwake and the Ring Necked Parakeet (first time I've seen the Exmouth bird). Some suggestions that it may be nesting proved to be true! Short video here - poor light and distant for my camera.

Kittiwake Ring-necked Parakeet
Kittiwake                          Ring-necked Parakeet

Posted March 21st at 8:14 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Ashford Sewage Works. 1410-1500.

Black-tailed Godwit 24; Shelduck 33; Goosander 2 (1M,2F); Redshank 6; Wigeon 62; Little Egret 6; Greenshank 1.

A first Mediterranean Gull of the year on my patch. A second winter bird. 

Posted March 21st at 7:13 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Wrafton Pond, Velator & Sherpa Marsh

At least 90 Sand Martins at pre-roost in the area this evening and at least four, possibly as many as six, Water Pipits.

Posted March 21st at 6:42 pm by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

South Huish & Bigbury Island

South Huish: 3 Wheatears toward the back of the marsh today, 1 Black-tailed Godwit & approx 15 Teal.

Bigbury Island, 1-2  Willow Warblers, 7 Chiffchaff

Posted March 21st at 5:14 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Berry Head

2 wheatears in the Quarry late this morning

Posted March 21st at 4:50 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding

Harleston by Slapton

Bit of a shock when a Hawfinch landed on the bird feeder scattering the other finches. Stayed for 10 mins then returned 90 mins later! also female Blackcap & singing Chiffchaff.

Posted March 21st at 2:22 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Rillage Point to Watermouth

The first chance to visit my patch in a few days coincided with a heavily overcast morning with patchy clag and light drizzle, interspersed with some brighter dry interludes – perfect for producing a small fall of gounded migrants and some decent visible migration. Totals included: 2 Grey Herons (looming out of the mist and over the cliff tops), 4 Skylarks (very scarce at this site in spring), 7 Sand Martins (all whipping along to the W), 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Stonechats, 6 Wheatears (a grounded group of 4m & 2f), 52 Meadow Pipits, 9 alba wagtails, 29 Goldfinches & 9 Linnets.

Posted March 21st at 1:14 pm by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Hopes Nose

Male Wheatear half way down south side by benches mid morning. Also 2 Chiffchaffs singing.

Posted March 21st at 10:35 am by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Wednesday 20th March 2019

Velator Reserve

And to add to Rob's observations: I ringed 10 Chiffchaffs in the reserve this morning, several with classic 'Rhino horns from nectar/pollen in flowers in a more exotic southern location. A few Sand Martins around the reserve late morning. Also ringed a male Grey Wagtail, a male Cetti's Warbler, and a female Brambling - carrying a good covering of fat.

Posted March 20th at 8:50 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Baggy, R.Caen & Wrafton Pond

Evidence of several more migrants arriving in N.Devon today with 2 Wheatear at Baggy am & 2 more by the side of the R.Caen pm.

20 - 30 Sand Martins over Wrafton Pond late aft. + several more over R.Caen & Braunton Marshes.

Posted March 20th at 5:48 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Mid morning, the Marsh Harrier was sitting on the ground at the edge of the lagoon;  2 Egyptian Geese flew in & 3 Gadwall were present.  The Snow Goose was in the first field adjacent to the Swan's Nest.

Posted March 20th at 5:27 pm by Rupert Ormerod in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

When at the Warren this morning I checked out issues relating to the (East Devon Branch) fieldtrip planned for Thursday 28 March.  The footpath along the dunes remains closed indefinitely and getting to the hide could be risky at high tide so we will not attempt this and will concentrate on other areas and sea watch.

The two main car parks are no longer taking cash due to theft but take credit and debit cards...however the pay and display machine at the first car park (before the tunnel) does take cash so purchase your ticket there first.  The fee is £2.20 (all-day) until the end of the month when the fee increases!  

Not a lot of birds of note but pleased to see my first 2 Sand Martins and a Cirl Bunting in song.

Powderham produced a distant Wheatear on a horse jump (thanks to Audrey Wolstenholme and friends for finding this for me).

Posted March 20th at 5:21 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding


Saltram, on the duck pond the Red-crested pochard has returned and showing well

Red-crested Pochard
Red-crested Pochard

Posted March 20th at 4:18 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Generally quite quiet but: redhead Goosander, female Red-crested Pochard, 7 Mandarin Ducks, Little Grebe, 1 or 2 Green Woodpeckers heard, 2 Stock Doves and 5 Roe Deer.  

Posted March 20th at 3:49 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Berry Head

Single swallow flew in over the meadow this morning- didnt look like stopping anytime soon!!

Posted March 20th at 3:22 pm by Tim Clyburn in General Birding

Exeter City

Great Crested Grebe pair on the Exe, also Peregrine on the church tower. Brimstone butterfly Wonford Road. 

Grebe video.

Great Crested GrebeGreat Crested GrebePeregrine
Great Crested Grebe         Great Crested Grebe                          Peregrine

Posted March 20th at 2:44 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding


32 little egret  in a field next to the Culm in Willand at lunch time.

Posted March 20th at 2:17 pm by geoff campbell in General Birding


Tuesday 19 March.  Outing to Instow - Bunting with nesting material (not shown), The same Bunting (Possible Reed Bunting) and a single Buzzard.

Eds - yes, Reed Bunting.

Reed Bunting? The same Bunting different tree. Buzzard on Barn roof.
Reed Bunting                                                                   Buzzard on Barn roof.

Posted March 20th at 1:05 am by Martin Bennett in General Birding


Tuesday 19 March on Instow outing - Oyster catchers more than 2 but less than 500. In the mix were; Turnstones, Knot, Snipe 7 or 8, Wigeon and 2 female Teal, 2 Curlew, 1 Godwit (Far right of image1) see image 2, Grey Plover (Far left of image 1), and some Red Shank. Herons nesting.

Oyster catchersGodwit (croped from Oyster catcher image)Heron
Oyster catchers                                 Godwit (croped from Oyster catcher image)             Heron

Posted March 20th at 12:50 am by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Tuesday 19th March 2019

Bench Tor

1 Swallow cruising around in the late afternoon sunshine. My first of the year.

Posted March 19th at 9:18 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

Cetti's Warbler on the towpath and heard but not seen Sedge Warbler on back Railway path, Exminster Marshes.

Posted March 19th at 6:44 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Dart Estuary

trio of Harbour Seals today (plus one or two more in the water)

Harbour Seals
Harbour Seals

Posted March 19th at 5:40 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in Other Wildlife

Berry Head - Midday 19th March

A calm sea today with only a few common and lesser black back gulls out over the water. The highlight of my watch was observing 11 common dolphins as they slowly made their way from North to South around Berry Head. The dolphins were too far out to get a good picture but showed well with binoculars. 

Posted March 19th at 5:36 pm by David Roper in General Birding

Soar Mill Valley

5 Chiffchaffs inc.two singing. Still a few migrant Song Thrushes trickling through. Also: 2 Bull finch, 3 Greenfinch, 6 Buzzards.

Posted March 19th at 4:22 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

The Hoe, Plymouth. 19/03/2019

Near the cannons on the Hoe, a Male & Female type Black Redstart amongst the rocks.

At Captain Jaspers a Great Black-backed Gull (metal ring left leg white ring A4MW on right leg).

Posted March 19th at 3:08 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

19-03-19 Dartford Warbler

Dartford Warblers showing well today on Dartmoor

Dartford Warbler  
Dartford Warbler

Posted March 19th at 3:08 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Thornhillhead, N.Devon

Willow tit vigoursly calling at the feeders this morning. Pleasing to see all six tit species we get here (blue, coal, great, long tailed, marsh and willow) at the feeders recently - most species at the same time is five. First Chiffchaff of the year calling nearby this morning.  Spring (very nearly)!

Posted March 19th at 2:54 pm by Mark West in General Birding


No Hirundines over or near the reserve this morning. 3/4 Chiffchaffs chasing insects over the pond in the reserve. One Black-tailed Godwit out on the scrape.

Posted March 19th at 2:20 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Monday 18th March 2019


On the sea: 2 Red-necked Grebes, 6 Great Crested Grebes - otherwise very quiet.

Posted March 18th at 9:48 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Hembury Woods

Nice views of a Woodcock and a vocal Green Woodpecker, late afternoon.

Posted March 18th at 8:48 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Horsey Island

Late aft - 1 smart male Wheatear briefly on the top of the inner Great Bank by the Toll Road + 63 Black tailed Godwits foraging with a few in smart summer plumage..

Posted March 18th at 6:57 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Northbrook, - Matford marshes

Very quiet on the Northbrook today - council still working along the path. Kingfisher (pictured) just down from Salmon Pool. Another Kingfisher flew through the back pond at Matford Marshes, also there a Water Rail and Gadwall. No sign of any Cattle Egret behind the storage units today.

Kingfisher Kingfisher Gadwall
Kingfisher                      Kingfisher                                              Gadwall

Posted March 18th at 5:22 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

c20 Sand Martin this morning.

Posted March 18th at 2:30 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding


First Wheatear, on edge of the airfield at East Soar and a migrant flock of 30 Meadow Pipits above Soar Mill Cove.

Posted March 18th at 1:56 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Velator reserve

Lots (maybe 20) of Sand Martins hawking insects over the reserve this morning, and with them a few (4/5?) Swallows. A few Chiffchaffs were also taking insects at lower level and two were singing. The two Grey Wagtails were back for more, and also of note were 3 Reed Buntings, 2 Gadwall, still 2 Swans. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was again drumming. Tawny Owl called, once! As did a Cetti's Warbler.

Posted March 18th at 1:32 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Dragonfly Plymouth

A large Dragonfly yesterday afternoon whizzed past the car on Mannamead Road near the Hyde Park. Wouldn't mind betting it was a Vagrant Emperor from the very brief view that I got.

Posted March 18th at 7:37 am by Rich Billington in Other Wildlife

Sunday 17th March 2019

North Devon coast – Rillage Pt & Bull Pt

Some signs of real movement for the first time in a couple of weeks, with 170 Meadow Pipits battling W into a still blustery headwind along the clifftops and just offshore at Rillage Point between 06.15 & 08.15. Other passerine migrants included small numbers of Linnets and alba wagtails. Both at Rillage and at Bull Point later in the morning, there was an almost continuous westbound passage of Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, following the shoreline.

Posted March 17th at 11:04 pm by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Roadford Lake

Pink Footed Goose with Canada Geese from viaduct today.17th March.

Posted March 17th at 7:54 pm by Adrian Davey in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

3 Swallow + 1 Sand Martin above the pond.

Posted March 17th at 6:52 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Plymbridge Woods.

This morning between the showers:-

7 Mandarin, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Bullfinch (f), 1 Marsh tit, 1 Ring necked Parakeet,   1 Great spotted Woodpecker (m) drumming, Magpies and Crows nest building.

Posted March 17th at 2:46 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Anchor Wood - Penhill marsh from Tarka trail

11:30 - 12:30 low water.
31x Cormorant on the mid channel sand bank. 1x Greeshank in shallow water right close to the trail (this bird has been around this spot at low water for a month now). 14 Shelduck in Anchor wood field. The usual sprinkling of Curlew and Little egret. Strangely very few Redshank.
Very little on Penhill marsh just 4 Little Egret and 3 Shelduck.

Posted March 17th at 2:23 pm by Roy Churchill in General Birding

Roadford Lake

Roadford this am:

at least 14 Brambling with Chaffinch flock on shore of Lake

2 Barnacle Geese

Barnacle Goose
Barnacle Goose

Posted March 17th at 9:42 am by Rupert Kirkwood in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 16th March 2019

Beesands Ley

Quick look mid-afternoon, Male Ring-necked Duck ( presumed Slapton bird ), male Scaup, 32 Tufted Ducks, male Pochard, Great Crested Grebe and a Sand Martin.

Posted March 16th at 5:52 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tidal road AG and Slapton

Nice views of a greenshank and a Great black backed gull with a flounder on the tidal road. At Slapton the odd gannet really close to shore and a raft of about 20 common scoter far out.



Great Black-backed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull

Posted March 16th at 2:13 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Otter at Slapton

Nice to see an otter this morning outside the Stokeley hide at Slapton. I had a felling it saw me as well


Posted March 16th at 2:08 pm by Richie Moore in Other Wildlife

Teignmouth Seafront

2 Sandwich Tern flew S this morning

Posted March 16th at 10:22 am by David Cope in General Birding

Friday 15th March 2019


Two Red-necked Grebes at Elbury Cove, Torbay today, with 1 GND. One beginning to develop red neck. 

Posted March 15th at 5:23 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Turf pub

Wheater on rocks by the Turf. Red legged Partridge by Powderham Church.

Posted March 15th at 11:36 am by Nick Workman in General Birding

Older Posts →

← Newer Posts