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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Sunday 7th April 2019


Orcombe Point - Nightingale seen briefly (not singing) in the Bristol Schools camp around 1230 this afternoon. Not seen subsequently despite searching. Also 2 Wheatear, 15+ Willow Warbler and a male Redstart (Gore Lane). Three House Martin north over Maer Farm earlier. Yesterday - singing Firecrest, Snipe and White Wagtail on Orcombe.

Posted April 7th, 2019 at 5:39 pm by Matt Knott in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 6th April 2019

Slapton Ley

Cold easterly wind making viewing the bay and ley from the line difficult. Offshore just 3 Sandwich Terns and 2 second calendar year Mediterranean Gulls, Highlights around the Ley included the 3 Ring-necked Ducks seaward side of the Lower Ley opposite the Cormorant roost. Also a male Goldeneye. At least 500 Sand Martins present in the morning with a few Swallows and a House Martin. Good arrival of singing Willow Warblers and a Reed Warbler likewise singing back of Ireland Bay near the Quarry.

Posted April 6th, 2019 at 5:08 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 5th April 2019

Darts Farm

The Great White Egret was still on show from the viewing platform at 16:00 more info

Posted April 5th, 2019 at 11:27 pm by Spencer Dicks in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sharpa / Wrafton scrape

1 Water Pipit at the side of the smaller scrape late aft / early evening. Also 1 Little Grebe.

Posted April 5th, 2019 at 7:07 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 3rd April 2019

South Hams

Slapton Ley again pretty lively today with c350 Sand Martins with single Swallow and House Martin, a fine summer-plumaged Red-necked Grebe on the sea (around Memorial Car Park), 3 Ring-necked Ducks (2 drakes + female), drake Scaup, 1 or 2 drake Garganey (Ireland Bay), 8 Sandwich Terns & 2 Willow Warblers.

Earlier at Soar, just: Wheatear, 4 Blackcaps & 2 Bullfinches.

Posted April 3rd, 2019 at 6:48 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Soar Mill Valley & Southdown Farm

Best was Red Kite over farm late morning with 2 Buzzards. Also 12 Chiffchaffs & 3 Blackcaps.

Posted April 3rd, 2019 at 4:42 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sharpa / Wrafton scrape

Little Ringed Plover still present on the scrape this morning.

Posted April 3rd, 2019 at 12:47 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 2nd April 2019

South Hams

I was hoping the break in the weather might produce a few more birds, but a morning at Start resulted in little more than 4 Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs, a female Wheatear and a Coal Tit.

However Slapton Ley proved much more productive with 3 Ring-necked Ducks (2 drakes & a female) towards the Torcross end, 2 drake Garganey (which flew into Ireland bay), Black-necked Grebe (half way down the lower ley on the seaward side), 190+ Sand Martins (there could have been more or others might have arrived later as per Alan's post), 4 Swallows including 2 "in, off", a single House Martin and 29 Sandwich Terns (which seemed to be circling the bay and ley).

It felt like Spring! 

Posted April 2nd, 2019 at 8:44 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Sharpa / Wrafton scrape

Jon Turner phoned Sue Bruce am to say a Little Ringed Plover had shown up on the scrape so I cycled down to digiscope it.

Posted April 2nd, 2019 at 2:04 pm by Rob Jutsum in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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