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


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

Tuesday 30th April 2019


One Reed Bunting (m) under the feeder in my garden, been around for four days on and off!

Posted April 30th at 10:21 pm by Steve Earl in General Birding

Siskins in the garden

A pair of Siskins in the garden this morning at Dunkeswell.

Posted April 30th at 7:05 pm by Peter in General Birding

Swifts over Berra Tor

8 swifts flying over Berra Tor on Roborough Down, Dartmoor this afternoon. 

Posted April 30th at 6:03 pm by Jacki Solman in General Birding

RIver Caen, Velator, Braunton

Several Swallows over the river, and a solitary early Swift over the tollhouse.

Posted April 30th at 5:40 pm by Alan Denzey in General Birding


A lone Swift this morning.

Posted April 30th at 5:38 pm by Alan K. Searle. in General Birding

Chudleigh Knighton Heath 30-04-19

Female Whitethroat, Yellow hammers, Willow warblers, Chiffchaffs, Stonechats, nothing out of the ordinary at present

Yellow HammerWhitethroat (F)
Yellow Hammer                                Whitethroat (F)

Posted April 30th at 5:35 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Emsworthy Mire 30-04-19

Cuckoo's heard but not seen, Redstart not seen or heard, plenty of Wheatears and Tree Pipits.

Wheatear (M)Tree Pipit
Wheatear (M)                        Tree Pipit

Posted April 30th at 5:31 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding


Heard 2 Curlew in different areas. Other birds seen Yellow Hammer, Stonechat, Linnets, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Skylarks, 3 Cuckoos in different areas. A great day for walking. 

Posted April 30th at 4:34 pm by Mave Goddard in General Birding


Saw several Whinchat today.


Posted April 30th at 4:06 pm by simon Thurgood in General Birding

Bideford - Ford Woodland

Cuckoo calling in Ford Woodland at 08:30 this morning. Probably just passing through.

Posted April 30th at 1:52 pm by John L. Nixon in General Birding


Grasshopper Warbler in the reserve this morning. And no I didn't hear it, I took it out of a mist net! First for a few years. Precious little else there though. 3 Blackcaps and a Reed Warbler.

1 Black-tailed Godwit out on the scrape.

However the farmer has put some cows in the field by Sherpa Marsh, so possibility of Yellow Wagtails now.

Posted April 30th at 12:59 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Berry Head

Little sign of any grounded migrants except for 1 Willow Warbler (Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs all singing on territories now). Overhead a smart Summer plumaged Great Northern Diver flew low over the inland meadow and a single Whimbrel. Toward Brixham Rugby Club 4 Swifts overhead.

Posted April 30th at 10:59 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

Cuckoos nr Brixham

2 cuckoos calling in lambing fields on the way down to the higher ferry last night

Posted April 30th at 10:07 am by Tim Clyburn in General Birding


cuckoo heard yesterday afternoon from my garden on nearby farmland 

Posted April 30th at 9:07 am by graham folkerd in General Birding

South Huish Marsh 29/04/2019

2 Barnacle geese in amongst the Canada geese, a few black-tailed godwits. 14 Whimbrel on the beach and 2 on the rocks.

Black-tailed Godwit & WhimbrelBlack-tailed Godwit & WhimbrelWhimbrel
Black-tailed Godwit & Whimbrel                                        Whimbrel

Posted April 30th at 5:37 am by Richie moore in General Birding

Monday 29th April 2019


5 or 6 Cuckoos heard in one area around Fernworthy Reservoir also Stonechat M&F, 2 Pippits, Skylark and some Linnets.

CuckooCuckoo landing

Posted April 29th at 8:52 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Pied Crow

Still at Woolacombe this evening at 7p.m. devouring the remains of someone's fried dinner. In a tree behind the toilet block.

Pied Crow
Pied Crow

Posted April 29th at 8:00 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Pied Crow - Woolacombe

Potentially another new bird for Devon -the much travelled Pied Crow still along Woolacombe seafront this afternoon and has now been in the immediate area for at least 5 days and possibly longer as last seen on Lundy last Tuesday.

for pictures see -




Posted April 29th at 6:00 pm by Mark Bailey in General Birding

Peter Tavy - Kingfisher

Spotted a Kingfisher on Colly Brook just by the bridge in Peter Tavy at 5pm, the first time I've seen one here in the 5 years I've lived in the village. Also a Dipper upstream from the bridge and a Grey Heron flying over. 

The 2 male Redstarts at Lower Godsworthy still calling from trees but no sign of the female. 

Posted April 29th at 5:54 pm by Andy Brown in General Birding

ringneck parakeet

1 ringneck parakeet whitleigh plymouth

Posted April 29th at 5:45 pm by barry insull in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

Hobby to the north of the middle car park


Posted April 29th at 5:45 pm by simon Thurgood in General Birding

Bowling green marsh

Late morning next to viewing platform. Cettis, Garden Warbler,Blackcap and Reed Warbler showing well in light rain.

Posted April 29th at 5:03 pm by Geoff Campbell in General Birding

Yarner Woods

Identification help required small bird, pale grey head, brown back, pale front with reddish tint and black tail with white edges unfortunately no camera today. On checking all my bird guides the closest I can see is Red-breasted flycatcher! as per pg 249 in my Hamyln guide. There was initially one then another arrived after a fight both flew off. 

They were seen where you enter yarner from the lower trendlebere car park on the path between the scrub land half way along on the left. Hopefully someone else can spot them and advise what they were. 

Good view of Cuckoo calling at Emsworthy just past the barn. 

Eds - male Linnet? Red-breasted Flycatcher is extremely unlikely.

Posted April 29th at 4:46 pm by Gary Bolton in General Birding


Quick trip to the quarry at Berryhead, at lunchtime, have us lovely close views of Kestrel, on and off next area, lots of Goldfinches, a Rock pipit and a nice Whitethroat, calling from the stubby bushes in the quarry. Our first of the year.

Posted April 29th at 4:11 pm by Kay and Gary Deare in General Birding


Sunday 28 April pm. Hobby flying east. 2 Sedge Warblers in Soar valley. 14 Whitethroat, 8 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff.

Posted April 29th at 8:20 am by Roger White in General Birding

Sunday 28th April 2019


Even with the wind being absent at last, there wasn't much on show in the reserve this morning, so I set out for an evening walk around the Marsh. 3 Reed Warblers heard, 3 Little Egrets seen. Only 1 Sand martin and maybe 6 Swallows. Where are they all?

Posted April 28th at 8:21 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Hembury Woods

Late afternoon, of note: a Swift hawking high over the river (my first of the year in the UK), two Garden Warblers singing and two male Pied Flycatchers.

Posted April 28th at 8:07 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Slapton, South Milton

29 Whimbrel flying around Slapton, good views of Cetti's warblers and a few whitethroats along the front. Heard lots of reed warblers and glimpsed a few. Finally saw my first sedge warbler of the year after several attempts at South Milton and lots of swallows and house martins flying around the sewage works.

SwallowsWhitethroatCetti's Warbler
Swallows                                      Whitethroat                       Cetti's Warbler

Posted April 28th at 4:31 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Croften Holiday Camp, Cockwood

Three breeding plumaged Cattle Egrets in fields almost opposite the entrance, with cattle, still yesterday. 

Posted April 28th at 6:51 am by Steve Cox in General Birding

Saturday 27th April 2019


8 Golden Plover in ploughed field at Southdown Farm this afternoon

Posted April 27th at 6:28 pm by Roger White in General Birding

North Devon

Many thanks to Susan and friends for granting access for great views of the Dark-eyed Junco today. I hope the donations box (for Devon Birds & The Otter Trust) continues to build up!

After this, at Upper Tamar Lake - c50 Sand Martins, 4 Swallows & a House Martin; and at Lower Tamar Lake, c25 Sand Martins, 6 House Martins & 4 Swallows. 

Posted April 27th at 6:04 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Junco- Westward Ho!

Pic taken yesterday evening.

Slate-coloured Junco
Slate-coloured Junco

Posted April 27th at 9:40 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

Friday 26th April 2019

East Dartmoor

Between the showers and drizzle;-

Yarner  - Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Willow and Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Whitethroat. Woodpeckers, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush and Marsh Tit with nest material.

Normal moorland species - and 3 Cuckoo at Emsworthy.


Posted April 26th at 8:00 pm by Francis Welland in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Five Oystercatchers new in today; also 2 Whimbrels, 2 Curlews, Greenshank, Dunlin, Mandarin Duck (drake), Shag (adult), 3 Stock Doves, Bullfinch (male) & 12 Roe Deer (3 bucks).

Posted April 26th at 1:46 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Thursday 25th April 2019

CANCELLATION of fieldtrip- Saturday

Please note that the fieldtrip (East Devon Branch) to Trendlebere Down and Yarner Woods planned for Sat. 27th has been cancelled due to the weather forecast (Storm Hannah) bringing rain and strong winds in the morning.

A BioiBlitz planned for Sunday 28th centred at NT Caddihoe, Ashclyst Forest, Broadclyst, Nr Exeter  between 10-4 will go ahead as planned.  Why not come and look for some birds with us. 

Posted April 25th at 9:30 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

South Huish marsh late afternoon

19 Godwits, 13 black tailed and 6 bar tailed, 2 whimbrel on the rocks and thanks to Dave Pakes for telling me about a stunning yellow wagtail on the island which I managed to find

Black-tailed Godwits &Bar-tailed godwitsBlack-tailed Godwits &Bar-tailed godwitsGodwits
Black-tailed Godwits &Bar-tailed godwits                                Godwits

Posted April 25th at 8:58 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

At first thought this was a Lesser Whitethroat because of its behavior, singing from the base of the bush. My hearing isn't the best, so could be wrong on the song, its only time out of the bush gave me a opportunity to take this pick before it went to the base of the bush again. But the more I look at the pic the more I think its a Common Whitethroat? What do the experts think?

Plenty of other birds about, Sedge, Reed, Cettis, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler all in good song.

Common or Lesser Whitethroat?
Common or Lesser Whitethroat?

Eds: Never easy from one picture and especially from this angle! The lack of a pale eye ring might suggest Lesser Whitethroat, but the white appearing more limited to the outer edges of outer tail suggest Whitethroat and bill might show some yellow/flesh colour at lower base again good for Whitethroat. Cannot see leg colour. The song would have been a much easier way to sort them out, generally 'rattle' for L Whitethroat and 'fast scratchy' song of Whitethroat.

Posted April 25th at 1:31 pm by simon Thurgood in General Birding

Wednesday 24th April 2019

Avon Dam

Nice views of a Grasshopper Warbler reeling from low gorse scrub on one of the slopes a little below the dam this evening.

Posted April 24th at 10:49 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Walk to the Turf this evening was most rewarding. In the field next to the railway bridge on the reserve was one cattle egret with the Galloway cattle. At the end of the path alongside the railway was a small group of hirundines; 5 house martins, 2 swallows and one red-rumped swallow. It hawked for insects in the lee of the two large trees. No sign on our return at 7.30pm but lots of singing sedge, reed and Cettis warblers.

Posted April 24th at 8:19 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Powderham Marsh

At Powderham Marsh today. Little Gull 2nd Summer still, 2 Green Sand, singing Reed W, Cetti’s W & 4 Blackcap. 5 Sand Martin, 4 House Martin & a White Wagtail. 

Posted April 24th at 6:31 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Grasshopper Warbler, Brownsham Cliff

reeling at 1130.  In the lee of the steep, N-facing side of the valley.        SS293 266

Posted April 24th at 10:10 am by Abraham Cutajar in General Birding

Berry Head

Despite what appeared to be good fall conditions no sign of any grounded migrants, the Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs present were probably just breeding birds. Perhaps cloud cover and poor weather in France stopped any notable movement across the channel last night. Overhead 1 Tree Pipit and 1 Whimbrel.

Posted April 24th at 10:07 am by Mike Langman in General Birding

South Huish marsh evening 23/04/19

Some splendid looking Bar-tailed godwits in summer plumage in with the Black tailed godwits, 3 whimbrel on the rocks and a few more flying about. A lovely female yellow wagtail, thanks to Mike Passman for not only spotting it but letting me look through his scope to get a brilliant view.

Black-tailed Godwits and Bar-tailed godwitsBlack-tailed Godwits and Bar-tailed godwitsWhimbrel
Black-tailed Godwits and Bar-tailed godwits                                Whimbrel

Posted April 24th at 6:13 am by richie Moore in General Birding

Tuesday 23rd April 2019

Yarner and Challicombe

Garden Warbler (Tendlebere thanks to Mark Bailey for the ID) Lifer! hurrah! Also Pied Flycatchers, Tree pipit (Trendlebere) lots of Willow Warblers.Yellowhammer. Very little of note at Challicombe (only Cuckoos heard were near Yarner). A couple of Raven over and 3 buzzards near Hound Tor. Lots of Tadpoles - thousands in wet path near Sousson also Adder near there.

Garden Warb vid

Pied FlycatcherWillow WarblerGarden Warbler
Pied Flycatcher                    Willow Warbler                                     Garden Warbler

Posted April 23rd at 10:46 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding


A trip over the south side of Dartmoor this morning, lots of small birds over the moors generally, Stonechat, Greenfinch , Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Redpoll, Buzzard, Swallow, House Martin, Yellow Hammer, Redstart, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Wren, Bullfinch, Wheatear, Raven and a Curlew heard calling.

Cuckoo seen at Venford (2) Warren House Inn (2) Emsworthy Mire (3)



Posted April 23rd at 9:16 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

South Hams

Pretty quiet today. Soar: 2 Wheatears, 2 singing Sedge Warblers & 3 House Martins. Slapton Ley: 3+ Sandwich Terns, a Bar-tailed Godwit on the beach and c10 singing Reed Warblers.

Posted April 23rd at 9:02 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Postbridge area

Reeling Grasshopper Warblers today at Archerton and Tor View.

Posted April 23rd at 9:02 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding


For the info on Red Damselfly Dave, I had come to that conclusion from a frustrating Google search.....

Posted April 23rd at 8:43 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Saddle Tor

Whitethroat with wheatear on path up to tor this afternoon.

Posted April 23rd at 5:52 pm by Geoff Campbell in General Birding

Princetown Railway Track - Ingra Tor

Around midday two separate cuckoos heard, several wheatears, meadow pipit carrying nest material, two linnets, lots of skylarks,  other birds included ravens & crows.

Posted April 23rd at 5:46 pm by Tony Hooper in General Birding

Pied Flycatchers at Yarner Wood

Three pairs of Pied Flycatchers at Yarner Wood busy nest building; also one pair of Redstarts.

Posted April 23rd at 4:09 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding

Raddick Hill

Cuckoo calling and flying from tree to tree, 11.45 this morning. 

Posted April 23rd at 2:19 pm by Mave Goddard in General Birding

Bursdon Moor, North Devon.

2 Grasshopper Warblers, 2 Whitethroats, 1 Wheatear, 4 Willoow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Blackbirds, 4+ Skylarks, 1 Dunnock, Carrion Crows and Jackdaws, 2 Meadow Pipits.

Harvey Kendall..

Posted April 23rd at 11:51 am by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Monday 22nd April 2019

West Charleton Marsh and Wareham Point etc

Late afternoon/rising tide. Of note: 5 Sandwich Terns over the estuary, 15 Bar-tailed Godwits on the mud, 5 Reed Warblers singing in the reedbed etc.

Posted April 22nd at 9:15 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding


Very little in the reserve this morning, even in the lovely warm sunshine! a few Blackcaps, couple each of Sedge and Reed Warblers. a brief visit (flying over) of the female Marsh Harrier. First sighting this year of a  red Damselfly - misplaced my book so not exactly sure which one...

Posted April 22nd at 9:08 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Durl Rock

7.30 pm -  Birds settling on the rock included 20+ common gulls, 2 black back gulls, 1 shag and 2 oystercatchers. First time this year that I've seen the oystercatchers in this location.

Posted April 22nd at 8:20 pm by David Roper in General Birding


 One Red Kite seen flying over Sharlands Lane, Braunton , at 1:00pm today by Andy Cotton.

Posted April 22nd at 7:46 pm by Margaret- Phillips in General Birding

Turf and Exminster Marshes

Between 12.30-15.00. Birds of note included a male Linnet near the Turf hotel and two Egyptian Geese on Exminster Marshes. On the Turf ferry back to Topsham there was a lone Greenshank and an Avocet. 

Posted April 22nd at 6:41 pm by Jonathan Martin in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

The Bar-tailed Godwit still around; today with a Whimbrel & Curlew on Blaxton Meadow (3 more Curlews over the estuary). Also, 2 Greenshanks,a singing Willow Warbler, Peregrine, 2 Green Woodpeckers, Stock Dove & 5 Roe Deer.  

Posted April 22nd at 6:30 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Grenofen Woods, Dartmoor

A Red Kite high and distant overhead (zoomed and cropped record shot attached) the highlight this morning on a walk at Grenofen Woods. Also 2 song-flighting Tree Pipits, a very mobile and elusive male Redstart singing, good views of a singing Garden Warbler, a Cuckoo heard twice but not seen, a male Yellowhammer, a male Stonechat, a Raven over being mobbed by Carrion Crows, a male Grey Wagtail along the river, Green Woodpecker heard yaffling and a female Great-spotted Woodpecker along with the usual Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Nuthatch, Mistle Thrush, etc. Lots of Brimstones around too.

Very distant Red KiteTree PipitBrimstone
Very distant Red Kite                                      Tree Pipit                                       Brimstone

Posted April 22nd at 5:28 pm by Stuart Green in General Birding

22-04-19 Cuckoo's at Emsworthy Mire

At least 2 Cuckoo's showing well around Emsworthy, at one point 2 male Cuckoo's were fighting with each other, Redstart singing for a mate by a tree near the barn, a few Wheatears around. 


Posted April 22nd at 4:20 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Abbottsham Cliffs

Red Kite over grazing land behind cliffs 2 pm 

Posted April 22nd at 2:44 pm by Rob Cleversley in General Birding

Cadover area, Dartmoor

Great morning. An Osprey over at 0845 was a surprise. Flying low towards Burrator. 

Redstart, Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Cuckoo, Garden Warbler, 2 Goosander, Green Woodpecker and Dippers - including 1 Juv. 

Good numbers of common warblers - 18+ Willow, 9+ Blackcap and 3+ Chiffchaff. 

Posted April 22nd at 11:02 am by Chris E in General Birding


Date of cuckoo sighting omitted from previous post - 21st April.

Posted April 22nd at 9:56 am by Nic Butler in General Birding


Cuckoo heard calling and seen perched in tree between Haytor Rocks and Holwell Tor SX 75313 77930 between 18.15 and 18.30. Possible second bird heard calling to the south-west.

Posted April 22nd at 9:54 am by Nic Butler in General Birding

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