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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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 21st April 2019


Generally quiet for birds but (understandably) busy people-wise. Six Wheatears (4 males), c15 Whitethroats, 2 singing Sedge Warblers & 3 House Martins.

Posted April 21st, 2019 at 3:29 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saturday 20th April 2019

Rillage Point to Watermouth

06.25-10.00: Only small numbers of Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers & Blackcaps, but 3 Grasshopper Warblers, 5 Common Whitethroats and a brief snatch of Lesser Whitethroat song. Hardly any hirundines (10 Swallows and 2 House Martins in 3.5 hours); surprising and potentially a bit worrying given the apparently perfect conditions at what ought to be peak passage for Swallows. Biggest surprise was a late Redwing skulking deep in a hawthorn bush as a Whitethroat sang nearby, juxtaposing winter and summer. Other migrants included a drake Shelduck, 26 Common Gulls and 3 Sandwich Terns.


Posted April 20th, 2019 at 10:10 pm by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Slapton Ley

Cracking day, tried my best but eventually gave it up to the holiday crowds.Could only find one male Ring-necked Duck this morning just north of Stokeley Bay. At least 10 Reed Warblers singing and good numbers of singing Cetti's Warblers and Blackcaps. No Sedge or Willow Warblers. 4 Swallows were the only hirundines. Offshore 2 unidentified divers flew south ( probably Black-throated ) and 4 Sandwich Terns. A lone Grey Plover on the beach.

Posted April 20th, 2019 at 2:54 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Friday 19th April 2019


Pair of Redstarts showing well this evening at Yarner wood .,along with the pied flycatchers, willow warblers and a lovely Goldcrest.

Posted April 19th, 2019 at 10:55 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

East Soar

Highlight today Hoopoe just west of Starehole Ponds by Pump House, found by NT staff and giving excellent views in early pm. Also: 5 Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, 6 Willow Warbler, 8 Sand Martin, House Martin & 15 Swallow.

Non-avian: 2 Green Hairstreak, 3 Wall Brown., Small Copper.

Posted April 19th, 2019 at 5:05 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Bull Point

A busy morning (06.15-09.10): adult Mediterranean Gull and 52 Common Gulls migrating E (latter incl. a single flock of 36), 5 Sandwich Terns heading W, 1 Short-eared Owl (evident migrant, flew out to sea then high over Morte Point), 10 Sand Martins, 19 Swallows, 2 House Martins, 21 Willow Warblers, 12 Chiffchaffs, 2 reeling Grasshopper Warblers, 5 Whitethroats, 12 Blackcaps, 3 Wheatears, 1 flyover Tree Pipit, 27 Meadow Pipits, 3 alba wagtails, 28 Linnets, 1 redpoll sp., 76 Goldfinches (many flying high overhead and out to sea at the lighthouse), and 4 Siskins.

Posted April 19th, 2019 at 10:52 am by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Thursday 18th April 2019

Rillage Point to Watermouth

06.20-08.40 In contrast to yesterday, rather few grounded migrants, though including another Grasshopper Warbler, 4 Whitethroats and a Wheatear, but only low single numbers of Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers & Blackcaps. On the flip side, visible migration was more in evidence, at least early on until a strong and chilly ENE wind started up. Totals included: 40 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (all following the shoreline up channel in small groups), 33 Sand Martins, 14 Swallows, 20 House Martins, 62 Meadow Pipits, 4 Tree Pipits, 3 alba wagtails, 44 Linnets and 56 Goldfinches.

Posted April 18th, 2019 at 5:57 pm by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Wednesday 17th April 2019

South Hams

Soar: Grasshopper Warbler reeling, 2 Sand Martins, 4 Willow Warblers, 12 Chiffchaffs & 18 Yellowhammers.

Slapton Ley: the 3 Ring-necked Ducks (2 drakes) still around half way down Lower Ley, 5 Reed Warblers singing, c25 House Martins, 2 Sand Martins, 12 Swallows, Common Sandpiper, drake Goldeneye & 8 Sandwich Terns.

Posted April 17th, 2019 at 9:03 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Rillage Point to Watermouth

06.25-08.45 Highlight was a reeling Grasshopper Warbler. The scrub held good numbers of other grounded warblers, including at least 18 Blackcaps, 13 Chiffchaffs, 8 Willow Warblers and 3 Whitethroats, as well as 2 Wheatears. Overhead, visible migration was rather quiet considering the promising weather conditions locally, but news from Mike Langman of thick clag at Berry Head gave a clue as to why relatively few birds seemed to be moving north. That said, there were 35 Swallows whipping through and out to sea, along with 8 Sand Martins, 2 House Martins, 22 Meadow Pipits, 28 Linnets, 16 Goldfinches and 4 Siskins.

Posted April 17th, 2019 at 8:55 pm by Tim Jones in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Tuesday 16th April 2019

Soar Mill Valley & Southdown Farm

Dreary start but sun poking through late morning. Highlight was male Ring Ouzel plus 6 Wheatear, 34 Swallow, 12 Blackcap, Willow Warbler in song & 14 Chiffchaff.

Non-avian: 4 Holly Blue, Small White, 2 Speckled Wood, Peacock & Small Tortoiseshell.

Posted April 16th, 2019 at 3:17 pm by Rob Macklin in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 15th April 2019

Berry Head

Seawatch 08.00 - 14.00: 73 Sandwich Terns, 2 Arctic Terns, "Commic" Tern, 4 Bonxies, 2 Great Northern & a Black-throated Diver, Red-necked Grebe (in sum plum, sitting on the sea), 2 Mediterranean Gulls (2nd-s & ad-s), 12 Sand Martins (south very low over the sea), Harbour Porpoise & Grey Seal. 

Posted April 15th, 2019 at 7:22 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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