Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 at 7:22 pm by Pete Aley in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

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