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


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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 14th April 2019


2 Whimbrel on the headland rocks this evening

Posted April 14th at 9:10 pm by Tim Clyburn in General Birding


Hobby chased by peregrine over river. 2pm 

Posted April 14th at 7:46 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Red Kite near Bampton

Red Kite about 50' above the road 1 mile along the B3227 from Bampton. Being harried by a crow.

Posted April 14th at 7:40 pm by Pete Lamb in General Birding

ringneck parakeet

mear valley exmouth 3 ringneck parakeet

Posted April 14th at 6:50 pm by barry insull in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Cold wind this afternoon but some signs of migration.Two male Wheatears, 3 Swallows, Bar-tailed Godwit, Red-legged Partridge, 2 Snipe, Common Sandpiper, 22 Turnstones, Greenshank, 4 Mandarin Ducks, Red-crested Pochard (female), Dunlin, 11 Little Egrets, Shag, 2 Stock Doves & 4 Roe Deer. 

Posted April 14th at 6:07 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Sea watching, Thurlestone

Sat with Mike Passman at Thurlestone looking  out to sea (as cold as I've been all winter). Thanks to his magnificent scope and magnificent sea watching skills got 400+ Gannets 1 Great skua (year?) 2 Great Northern divers  Common Scoters,  Sandwich terns  Whimbrel, sparrowhawk a single swallow, fulmars. Mike had more that I failed to pick up. Great morning. Singing Chiffchaffs, blackcaps and a cettis warbler near the sewage works. Also a Roe deer.

Posted April 14th at 4:42 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Hobby at Dawlish Warren

Highlight of today's WeBS count at Dawlish Warren was a single HOBBY flying up the Golf Course, across the Bight and over Warren Point towards Exmouth at 12:45.

Posted April 14th at 3:22 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding


5 Black-tailed Godwits on the scrape early (ish) 9.10, At Sherpa Marsh 2 Common Sandpipers and a smattering of Sand Martins. A small flock of Pipits contained a few Water Pipits. No sight or sound of any Reed Warblers today.  In the reserve several each of Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Willow Warbler. As the morning wore on a single Swallow started chasing insects around the pond, and then attracted a few more, eventually there were about 25 Swallows and 6 Sand Martins. A small Warbler dashed out of a small reed-bed and didn't look right for a Phyllosc. Focussing on the reed stems I first saw a Willow Warbler and then another bird deeper in, which when it moved out of cover revealed the lovely creamy eye-stripe of a Sedge Warbler.

Posted April 14th at 1:31 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


3 possibly 4 this morning in our garden.Defininteley 3,2male& female.One has been singing in back lane hedge and our garden and seems to have attracted a potential mate which probably came in overnight all feeding on ivy berries.

Eds - please state location for sightings (a general area is fine)

Posted April 14th at 10:17 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Lundy seabirds

Aberrant Lesser BB gull

Fulmar                   Lesser Black-backed Gull
Fulmar                                                     Lesser Black-backed Gull

Posted April 14th at 12:57 am by Martin Thorne in General Birding


Goldcrest sipping nectar.  


Posted April 14th at 12:42 am by Martin Thorne in General Birding

Saturday 13th April 2019

Berry Head

Very cold howling winds at Berry Head today, not a great variety to be seen on the sea, but a steady stream of Gannet, plenty of Fulmar, lots of GBBG's and one brief sighting of a flight of Manx Shearwaters, the Guillemot colony is fairly active.

Back home at South Brent Green Woodpecker calling and tucked away in a Holy tree were two Tawny owls that I have seen each day this last week.


Posted April 13th at 6:31 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Smeardon Down, Peter Tavy

A single male Redstart in fields at the bottom of Smeardon Down off the road to Lower Godsworthy, Peter Tavy this morning, quite mobile but showing well. No sign of any Cuckoos as yet.

Redstart (male)
Redstart (male)

Redstart (male)
Redstart (male)

Posted April 13th at 4:52 pm by Andy Brown in General Birding


Short eared owl over the allotments. Midday 

Posted April 13th at 12:16 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

Friday 12th April 2019


Dart Bridge ~ Grey Wagtail and a drake Mandarin in flight down the river.

Yarner and Trendlebear (very overcast and cold first thing this morning) ~ Willow Warbler and Tree Pipit both species seen and heard, both in full song at times, the Pipit at one point doing its display flight. Woodpeckers calling and drumming well, Long Tailed Tit, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Wren, Goldcrest, Redpoll, male Pied Flycatcher, Linnet, Yellow Hammer, Stonechat and male Blackcap.


Posted April 12th at 1:19 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

1male Reed Bunting, 4 Chiffchaffs, 4 Willow Warblers, 2 Blackcaps, small groups of Swallows and Sand Martins, 1 Jay, 12+ Rooks, 6 Goldfinches.

Posted April 12th at 1:05 pm by Harvey Kendall. in General Birding

Tarka trail

Braunton - Pottington and back. 3 Black-tailed Godwits on the Wrafton scrape. No singing Chiffs or Willow Warblers in cold conditions. 3 or 4 Blackcaps either seen or singing. No sign of the small Gulls. Highlight were 2 Goosander at Ashford.

Also very quiet in the reserve. One Malcolm Shakespeare over at Sherpa, who revealed .that he had had a couple of Reed Warblers.


Posted April 12th at 12:42 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


A singing Whitethroat this morning in the scrub below the high benches together with 2 Blackcap

Posted April 12th at 9:59 am by Tim Clyburn in General Birding

Thursday 11th April 2019

South Huish marsh

Beautiful evening at South Huish but a cold wind. A couple of Med gulls and 20 Black-tailed godwits 3 in Summer plumage. A buzzard flew over and unsettled the gulls. A few chiffchaffs up the lane and 2 red legged partridge in the field.

Mediterranean Gulls, Black headed gulls, a common gull and herring gullsBuzzardBlack-tailed Godwits
Mediterranean Gulls, Black headed gulls, a common gull and herring gulls

Buzzard & Black-tailed Godwits

Posted April 11th at 9:30 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Five Greenshanks, Dunlin, Goosander (redhead), Snipe, 9 Little Egrets, Green Woodpecker & 6 Roe Deer.

Posted April 11th at 9:18 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Purple Sandpipers - Torquay

13 Purple Sandpipers at the far end of Haldon Pier at high tide this morning. My highest count at this location this winter / spring. 

Posted April 11th at 8:45 pm by Cliff Parrott in General Birding

Stover Park

3 Stock Dove feeding on the ground below the feeders this afternoon. On the lake, pr tufted duck, pr mandarin but otherwise quiet. Butterflies included numerous brimstones plus peacock and red admiral.

Posted April 11th at 8:42 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Trendlebere Down, Top Car Park.

A Very Vocal Tree Pipit This Morning, Found By Roger Jewell. 11/04/19

Posted April 11th at 6:57 pm by patrick hawkins in General Birding

emsworthy mire

great grey shrike seen between holwell tor and haytor at 12.30 , also a yellow hammer under holwell tor.  back at the barn there was a male redstart,

at yarner woods a  pied flycatcher showed well  and then found a treepipit in trendlebeare carpark.  

Posted April 11th at 5:43 pm by roger jewell & mike gibson in General Birding

Exeter City, Exwick and Northbrook.

Apres haircut walk from town today, Peregrine on St Michael's Church - Lots of Lesser Black-backed gulls along the river. Great Crested Grebe pair, Kingfisher, approx 10 Sand martin and a couple of swallows (around the railway bridges) and beyond Exwick Paper Mill working upriver towards Cowley (and always away from me) a female GOOSANDER. Lots of people about everywhere nothing of note on Exwick allotments,but on the Northbrook brief glimpses of Dipper, Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail.

Goosander vid -

Peregrine -

My first Small Tort of the year and first small/holly blues (not sure which), Spec Wood, Peacock and Orange Tip.

GoosanderGreat Crested GrebePeregrine
Goosander                            Great Crested Grebe                     Peregrine

Posted April 11th at 5:42 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Devon side of Exmoor

Redstart 2 male 2 female,Willow Warbler Chiffchaff,Black Cap,small numbers of each, good selection of woodland birds, pair of grey wagtail and Dippers feeding young.

Redstart maleRedstart FemaleWillow Warbler
Redstart male                                       Redstart Female                      Willow Warbler

Posted April 11th at 4:53 pm by john elvin in General Birding


At least 7 Cattle Egrets on the wreck just upriver of Starcross early this morning

Posted April 11th at 4:47 pm by Rich Price in General Birding

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Anchorwood Bank. 11.00 - 13.00. High tide 10.38.

Together with Malcom Shakespeare.

On arrival the tide was still high and all sandbanks covered. At the time there was a roost of Black-headed Gulls and Shelduck at the east end of Penhill Marsh. By about 11.30 the tide had dropped and the Black-headed Gulls started feeding over the water in front of us. We both picked up the Little Gull feeding with B.H.Gulls. At 11.45 Malcolm was first to pick up the Bonaparte`s Gull in among the B.H.Gulls and both remained for the next 15minutes or so. Both gulls then disappeared from view. At about 12.30 just the Little Gull reappeared and rested on the uncovered sandbar in front of us. No further sightings of Bonaparte`s.

Posted April 11th at 3:13 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Hope's Nose


Great Northern Diver in Hope Cove. 

Posted April 11th at 12:58 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding


1 pair of Greenfinch, 4 Hedge Sparrows, 4/5 Goldfinch, 1 Song Thrush with food, a number of Blackbirds M and F, 2 x Robin, 6 Blue tits, 1 Great tit, 12 or more Wood pigeon and good number of House sparrows.


Posted April 11th at 10:03 am by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Wednesday 10th April 2019

Hennock Reservoirs

8-10 swallow feeding over Kennick Reservoir this evening. 

Posted April 10th at 8:07 pm by Fiona Freshney in General Birding

Emsworthy mire

Sneaked off work early and went up to Emsworthy mire and was rewarded with some great views of the great grey shrike through the scope but a little distant for a decent photo, a few wheatears up there and several meadow pipits. One swallow flew over.

Great Grey ShrikeMeadow PipitWheatear
Great Grey Shrike                     Meadow Pipit                                            Wheatear

Posted April 10th at 7:58 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Powderham Marsh & Countess Weir

36 Sand Martin, Swallow, Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcap, Cetti’s W, Green Sandpiper, 9 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin at Powderham Marsh. 25 Sand Martin & 2 House Martin at Countess Weir.

Posted April 10th at 7:49 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Otter Estuary

Female Whitethroat (very elusive) and pair of Blackcap just south of the white bridge this afternoon. More info

Posted April 10th at 6:27 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

emsworthy mire

Great Grey Shrike high on ridge from Saddle Tor at 12.30. Breeding pair of Nuthatch in valley. Numerous pipits but no cuckoos yet. Kestrel hunting over marsh edge.

Posted April 10th at 6:24 pm by JOHN PHILLIPS in General Birding

Red Grouse

A pair of Red Grouse and about 60 Golden Plover in full breeding plumage on the Moor North of Postbridge.  

Posted April 10th at 4:43 pm by John O'Connell-Davidson in General Birding

Tuesday 9th April 2019


Highlights of an excellent walk from Emsworthy to Parke

Emsworthy- Great Grey Shrike at 0800 near the barn

Haytor area- Green Woodpecker and Yellowhammer

Yarner-  Pied Flycatcher (male)

Parke- Dipper

Posted April 9th at 7:38 pm by Rich Price in General Birding

R.Taw, Barnstaple from Anchorwood Bank. High Tide 0917.

All sandbanks were still tide covered when I arrived at 11.00 but Herring Gulls and Black-headed Gulls were feeding frenziedly close to the bank near the start of Penhill Marsh. As the falling tide started to uncover the sandbanks the gulls started to land but there was no sign of the Bonaparte`s Gull. At 12.15 I picked up the Little Gull on the sandbank in centre of the river. It remained until 12.30 and then disappeared.

A search of the river on Pottington side from 12.45 until 13.30, down as far as Ashford Sewage Works, also no sign of Bonaparte`s or Little Gull.

11 Black-tailed and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits. c35 Shelduck.

Posted April 9th at 7:14 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Emsworthy Mire

Several sightings of the Great Grey Shrike today and was still there at 3pm when I left, quite mobile and distant but others might get a better shot.

Posted April 9th at 5:04 pm by simon Thurgood in General Birding

River Avon, Averton Gifford

Early evening, female goosander, male and femail stonechat and chiffchaff singing

Posted April 9th at 3:40 pm by Adam Davison in General Birding

East Portlemouth Area

2 Sandwich Terns over the Bar. House Martin in off at Gara Rock.

1st Green Hairstreak & 2 Small Coppers.

Posted April 9th at 3:30 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Berry Head

Only four members of DB (East Devon Branch) attended the fieldtrip this morning raising the question... where was everybody?  (Maybe something to do with the error in the published programme).  2 Wheatear and a fine male Redstart were the main interest plus the Guillemot colony, Fulmars and a small pod of Harbour Porpoise (?) present below the headland.

Broadsands car park produced 7+ Cirl Bunting in the afternoon.

Posted April 9th at 3:23 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding


Very quiet in the reserve this morning, NO Butterflies at all (5 species yesterday including 1st Red Admiral and Green-veined White).

12 Black-tailed Godwits out on the scrape.

Posted April 9th at 2:30 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Yarner Wood ~ Pied Flycatcher

Dart Bridge ~ Dipper, Grey Wagtail and Wren.

Yarner Wood ~ Woodpeckers calling and drumming well, two species seen, Marsh Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Heron, Wren, Nuthatch, Goldcrest, two Treecreeper and two male Pied Flycatcher.

Around Emsworthy~ Greenfinch, Linnet, Wheatear, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Jay, several pairs of Stonechat .

Out on Dartmoor a Goshawk being mobbed by two Carrion Crow.

Back home at South Brent (a Peregrine soaring high over the house yesterday) overnight Tawny owls calling and today Bullfinch, Song Thrush and Chiffchaff .

Posted April 9th at 11:45 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Yesterday at Prawle

Yesterday 8th April. Winds SE 2-3 going 4. Sunny spring morning. With Pat M.

3 Common Redstarts, 1 male Pied Flycatcher, 6+ Willow Warblers singing. Female Ring Ouzel seen by Pat. Black Redstart fem/imm type, female Wheatear. Plus lots of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps in song.

Impromptu hour's seawatch at 10.45 saw 25 Manx Shearwaters, 38 Common Scoter flying east. Also a few Swallows in off the sea at midday. Pat saw a few Sandwich Terns in Horsley Cove.


Common Redstart                                           Pied Flycatcher


Black Redstart                                                 Willow Warbler



Posted April 9th at 11:05 am by Tony Marchese in General Birding

South Huish marsh 08/04/19

Brief visit to South Huish marsh after work, several Chiffchaffs singing in the lane and lots of wrens, 21 Black-tailed godwits on the marsh and a wheatear near the carpark.

ChiffchaffBlack-tailed GodwitsWren
Chiffchaff                                 Black-tailed Godwits                                               Wren

Posted April 9th at 5:55 am by Richie Moore in General Birding

Monday 8th April 2019

Matford - Kenton

Matford - Green Sandpiper, a singing Treecreeper, more singing Willow Warblers (I assume these are passage birds using the Exe valley as a migration corridor), several Sand Martins, and my first Swallows of the year, but no Cattle Egrets.

Exminster - No Garganey, but a fly-over Yellow Wagtail, more Sand Martins, the Sedge Warbler singing near the fisherman's car park again, two Barnacle Geese, a Peregrine on the pylons, many Shelduck and Curlew (but still no Whimbrel), and three late Pintail.

Starcross - Kenton - many "singing" Red-legged Partridge in the arable land and my first House Martins of the year.

James Camden

Posted April 8th at 9:03 pm by James Camden in General Birding

River Taw adj to Horsey Island

6.20pm....good views of an Osprey catching a fish, and being harassed by a determined posse of Shelduck

Osprey catching a fishOsprey being mobbed by Shelduck
Osprey catching a fish                              Osprey being mobbed by Shelduck

Posted April 8th at 8:42 pm by Alan Denzey in General Birding

Penhill Marsh

At least 7 Cattle Egret still present this pm in the field with Cattle to the south of the Tarka Trail, opposite Penhill Marsh. 

Posted April 8th at 8:10 pm by Paul Bearman in General Birding

Inside Man #2 - Paignton Goldcrest

My patience and persistence paid off today with these lucky shots from inside the dining room. The female Goldcrest, before attempting to see off her own reflection, usually sizes things up from the rotary drier before coming to the window or brass plate on the back door handle.

Unfortunately, not caring about clean washing, she frequently poops on it!


Posted April 8th at 6:53 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Inside Man #1 - Paignton Goldcrest

Just a few more of my visitor to the window, this time taken from the inside. Her visits are getting more frequent and, since I've never had Goldcrest so active in this part of the garden, let alone reacting to a reflection like this, I can only assume she plans to nest close by and is practicing some aggressive territorial behaviour. Other theories welcome.


Posted April 8th at 6:40 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

East Soar

Best was cracking male Redstart. Also 6 Willow Warbler, Swallow, Snipe, 13 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap.

Posted April 8th at 6:29 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


Couldn't see Dave's Osprey in a brief cycle down the Toll road at about 9.30. 2 Black-tailed Godwits on the scrape. First female Blackcap in the reserve.

Posted April 8th at 5:37 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Berry Head

Willow Warbler and two Swallows, mid morning wander.

Posted April 8th at 5:21 pm by Michael Curran in General Birding

Berry Head

Some  migrants at this morning: 1 Redstart (male), 1 Wheatear, 1 Whitethroat, 6 Blackcap, 9 Willow Warbler, 8 Chiffchaff a pod of approx 20 Common Dolphin and 3 Harblour porpoise.

Common Dolphin Berry Head April 2019 ML     Common Dolphins

Posted April 8th at 4:55 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Emsworthy Mire

Great Grey Shrike showing well near Devon Wildlife Trust entry gate when approaching from Saddletor car park at 3pm

Posted April 8th at 4:19 pm by Emily Grove in General Birding

Morte Point

0710 - 1220. Cold wind but Spring finally arrived at Morte Point. 15 Sand Martin, 3 House Martin, 4 Swallow, 30+ mixed Chiffchaff & Willow Warbler on one patch of Gorse and many more spread around the Point. 7 Wheatear (3m/4f). 28 other species present

Posted April 8th at 3:59 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

Ply Estuary & Saltram.

A walk around Saltram & the estuary this morning produced the following.

Little Egret 14, Curlew 5, Redshank 45, Greenshank 6, Dunlin 1, Common Sandpiper 1, Snipe 3, Green Woodpecker 3, Chiffchaff 5, Blackcap 5, Wheatear 1 and a Willow Warbler.

Posted April 8th at 3:34 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Emsworthy Mire


Great Grey Shrike showing well 300m north east of the barn. Redstart, Wheatear, Willow Warbler and Stonechat also in the vicinity. 

Posted April 8th at 12:37 pm by Paul Darlington in General Birding

R.Taw Barnstaple

The Bonaparte’s Gull was present this morning soon after high tide, mid-river between Anchorbank and Pottington, delicately picking bits from some river scum. Also whilst scanning a 1W Little Gull landed close in to Anchorbank.

Posted April 8th at 10:17 am by Roger Doble in General Birding

North Devon Osprey

07.30 Osprey at Horsey Island.

Posted April 8th at 7:50 am by David Paterson in General Birding

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