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 7th May 2019

Upper Tamar Lake

1 Willow Tit and 1 Cuckoo calling.

Posted May 7th at 7:58 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Slapton Ley

Unfortunatly did not see Rich's Purple Heron, great find. Heard a Cuckoo behind Ireland Bay, first I've heard here for years. Apart from that a Whimbrel with a gammy leg ( hobbling but flying ok ) and 10 Swifts

Posted May 7th at 7:15 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Exminster Marsh

Highlights of an enjoyable walk round the marsh early this mornng:

A Lesser Whitethroat on the railway path, 2 Egyptian geese by the Lions Rest, a Marsh Harrier heading towards the M5 bridge,  male Garganey from the canal towpath, a large gathering of Whimbrel, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and a few Ringed Plover in the centre of the marsh. Also Sedge, Reed and Cettis warbler, Whitethroat and a male and female Bullfinch

Posted May 7th at 3:08 pm by Rich Price in General Birding

River Taw Osprey

From this morning.

Posted May 7th at 1:27 pm by David paterson in General Birding


In and around the reserve this morning of note: singing Lesser Whitethroat by the bridge still. In the reserve, Tawny Owl, grey Wagtail and a smart Spotted Flkycatcher.

Last night a walk around Sherpa showed 2 Greenshank 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Gadwall, lots of (50+) House Martins, and a Swan with 8 cygnets. I suspect there may still be two nests with sitting penns on them, so it could be quite a productive year for Swans up here!

Posted May 7th at 12:39 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Purple Heron Slapton

One flew west over the ley at 10.30 and appeared to land in western reedbed

Posted May 7th at 10:35 am by Rich Billington in General Birding

River Taw Osprey

Osprey with catch at Isley Marsh 10.00 , mobbed by gulls, flew off towards Home Marsh Farm still with catch. Photos to follow.

Posted May 7th at 10:21 am by David Paterson in General Birding


Osprey causing havoc among the migrant Dunlin and Ringed Plover soon after high tide this morning. Although fairly regular on the Taw this was a patch tick for me. Also present 1 White Wagtail, 4 Wheatear, and numerous Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat.

Posted May 7th at 9:39 am by Roger Doble in General Birding

Siskins in Exwick

Newly fledged Siskins joining adult birds on the feeders; first Swift of the summer overhead.

Posted May 7th at 8:31 am by Martin Overy in General Birding

Monday 6th May 2019

Plym Estuary & Saltram

At least 7 Whimbrels tonight (7 at south end of estuary and 4 earlier on Blaxton Meadow). Also 4 summer plumaged Dunlins on the Meadow with 3 Oystercatchers & a single lingering, Curlew; still 3 Wheatears (1 male) about.  

Posted May 6th at 7:39 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Many swifts arriving off the sea this morning. Dozens around the village and more high in the sky heading inland..

Posted May 6th at 6:13 pm by Graham burton in General Birding

Taw estuary

Kayak from velator to fremington.

4 blackwits 20 oystercatcher 6 greenshank 12 curlew 15 dunlin  1 turnstone  5 redshank 4 wheatear and lost count of whimbrel ,so many

Posted May 6th at 4:47 pm by Steve chick in General Birding

Braunton burrows

Spotted flycatcher from American road

Posted May 6th at 4:38 pm by Steve chick in General Birding

RedLeg on Roof-top, Braunton

Couldn't believe my eyes at first - 11am sat down for coffee in garden, thought "that's not a pigeon on the roof, it's a partridge!!"  First for my garden... Blackbird convinced it must be a new kind of raptor, flew to roofline a few feet away and gave repeated alarm calls; Jackdaw investigated closely from its nest in our disused chimney at far end of roof, decided it must be harmless. Red-Leg eventually flew off to neighbouring garden about 25 mins later.

Posted May 6th at 12:42 pm by Madgett PA.RA in General Birding

Northam Burrows

An early walk this morning saw, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Swift, 5 Wheater, 2 Meadow, 3 Skylark.

Posted May 6th at 12:40 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Sunday 5th May 2019

Exminister Marsh

A walk from Fisherman’s Car Park to Turf for breakfast. 15+ Sedge Warbler singing, a Male Garganey & 10+ Swift. 

Posted May 5th at 7:32 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

Purple Sandpipers - Torquay

Still 5 Purple Sandpipers on Haldon Pier, Torquay, this morning.

Posted May 5th at 7:10 pm by CLIFF PARROTT in General Birding


Lesser Whitethroat still by the bridge to the reserve.

Single Black-tailed Godwit on the scrape - appears to have colour rings on - best I could make out was white over yellow on left leg, probable metal ring on right leg.

In the reserve first Broad-bodied Chaser.

Posted May 5th at 12:54 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Highlights of this mornings high tide & walk around Saltram were the following: 

Whimbrel 5, Curlew 1, Dunlin 1, Common Sandpiper 1, Wheatear 1(f), House Martin 5, Swallow c10 & Stock Dove 4.

Posted May 5th at 11:32 am by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Saturday 4th May 2019


Cold wind at Slapton but great views of Whitethroats along the front, and some really close views of cetti's warblers near the bridge. Lots of house martins over the ley and swallows.

WhitethroatGreat Crested GrebeGrey Heron
Whitethroat                          Great Crested Grebe                              Grey Heron

Posted May 4th at 9:39 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding


Very quiet birdwise.Female yellow wagtail and 9 white being the best.3 whimbrel,2 each of ringed plover and dunlin.17:45-18:20.

Posted May 4th at 8:23 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Fremington Quay towards Bideford on the Tarka Trail

Good amounts of Swallows today,6 Whimbrel,sedge warblers, willow warblers,whitethroat,busy with nesting,cetti calling not seen.Very cold wind off the river but nice in the sun.

Whitethroat.Sedge WarblerWillow Warbler
Whitethroat.          Sedge Warbler                                                  Willow Warbler

Posted May 4th at 7:52 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Teignmouth sea front

1 female rider, 8 distant sandwich terms and gannets

Posted May 4th at 7:02 pm by Adam Davison in General Birding

Bursdon Moor & Summerwell.

6 Willow Warblers, 5 Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcaps, 1 Redpoll, 1 Treecreeper, 1 Tree Pipit displaying, 3 Buzzards, 1 Skylark, 1 Dunnock, c.100 Swallows, 1 House Martin, 3 Stonechats, several Chaffinches.

Harvey Kendall & Barry Bryne.

Posted May 4th at 6:41 pm by Harvey Kendall. in General Birding

Wembury Bay

White Wagtail, Wheatear & Whimbrel.

Posted May 4th at 6:37 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Beer Head

a Spotted Flycatcher amongst the Blackcaps, Whitethroats, Bullfinches and Wheatears around Beer Head this afternoon

Posted May 4th at 6:28 pm by Dave McKeown in General Birding

Exeter House Martins

As a follow-on to yesterday's comments about the absence of House Martins, there were twenty plus over the Trews Weir flood channel and Gabriel's Wharf flats this morning, despite the wind. Better late than never.

There were also Sedge Warbler and Common Whitethroat singing outside the goods entrance to Alphington Sainsbury's!

James Camden

Posted May 4th at 4:04 pm by James Camden in General Birding

Bickington, N.Devon

13.00 - Still 4 x Cattle egret in clampits field with cattle - these birds have been around this area for some 4 months now!
Also in the estuary off Anchorwoods 6 x Whimbrel 

Posted May 4th at 3:26 pm by Roy Churchill in General Birding


Lesser Whitethroat singing by the bridge to the reserve this morning.

Yesterday: Wall butterfly in the reserve. Today: Blue-tailed Damselfly.

Posted May 4th at 12:47 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

South Brent ~ Barn owl and Swifts

Just seen four Swifts over the house at South Brent my first of the year and a female Barn owl in our field shelter this morning.

A single House Martin yesterday.

Barn owl female 

Posted May 4th at 11:50 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

6am -  10.30 At least 3 Cettis, lots of Sedge Warblers and a few Reed Warb, Reed Bunting, 2 Swifts, Numerous Sand, house martins and Swallows, Whimbrel, gadwall, Blackcap (M) A Field mouse. a Shrew and a puncture DOH!

Sedge vid -

Sedge WarblerSwallow
Sedge Warbler                                       Swallow

Posted May 4th at 11:40 am by Martin Rooney in General Birding

House Martins in Exeter

House Martins are back in the Exwick and St. David's Station area; good numbers of Greenfinches and Siskins at my garden feeders, plus the first of the newly-fledged Goldfinches and House Sparrows.

Posted May 4th at 7:51 am by Martin Overy in General Birding

Friday 3rd May 2019

South Huish marsh

Whimbrel, black and bar-tailed godwits on the marsh and several rock pipits.

Black-tailed Godwit & Bar-tailed GodwitWhimbrelShellduck
Black-tailed Godwit & Bar-tailed Godwit               Whimbrel                                      Shellduck

Posted May 3rd at 9:35 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Ivybridge - Higher Piles Copse

On the outward walk, two Cuckoos were calling from the West bank of the Erme. In the wood were a Tree Pipit, a Pied Flycatcher and several Redstarts, with Dipper and Grey Wagtail on the river. The commonest bird was Coal Tit despite the wood being pure Oak; some of them were filling the Marsh Tit niche by pulling the moss off the branches. On the return walk, a Willow Warbler was singing from the gorse at least 500m from the nearest tree. Willy no-mates?

An earlier post referred to the absence of House Martins. None yet on Gabriel's Wharf in Exeter either.

James Camden  

Posted May 3rd at 8:15 pm by James Camden in General Birding

Teignmouth seafront

Minimum 6 Sandwich terns  around 16.50

Posted May 3rd at 6:16 pm by Barney Donnellan in General Birding


Juvenile Siskin feeding on bird feeder, plenty of adults Siskins around the garden. 

Posted May 3rd at 4:15 pm by Mave Goddard in General Birding

South Brent ~ Barn Owls

Good and bad news

Dead unringed Barn owl on the A38 central reservation at Marley Head, South Brent.

But on a positive note since late on Tuesday night (30th April) I have had a very "very" vocal Barn owl visiting my place at South Brent each night, no doubt courting my captive bird and my wife discovered it roosting in our field shelter this morning.

Posted May 3rd at 1:49 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


Late News for yesterday (Friday)

A Yellowhammer on wires by the back road between Croyde (Forda) and North Buckland. Yesterday evening at about 7.45 p.m.

Posted May 3rd at 11:02 am by Jon Turner in General Birding

South Huish marsh & South Milton Beach 02/05/2019

10 Whimbrel, 4 Bar-Tailed Godwits, 2 Black-Tailed Godwits, a Common Sandpiper on the sea weed. Lots of Swallows and a beautiful Song thrush singing it's heart out.

Bar-tailed Godwit & WhimbrelCommon SandpiperWhimbrel
Bar-tailed Godwit & Whimbrel            Common Sandpiper              Whimbrel

Posted May 3rd at 5:45 am by Richie Moore in General Birding

Thursday 2nd May 2019

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Reaching the quiest time of year here, but managed: Whimbrel, Curlew, Red-crested Pochard (female), 6 Mandarin Ducks (5 drakes), 14 House Martins, 2 Stock Doves & 6 Roe deer (1 buck).

Posted May 2nd at 8:17 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Slapton Ley.

From Torcross car park, this evening 28 Swifts, 60+ House Martins,50+ Swallows and 8 Sand Martins.

Posted May 2nd at 7:03 pm by Alan K. Searle in General Birding

Horsey Island + Wrafton pond

am - 10 Swifts over Horsey this morning.

On the Pond my first sighting of the 5 signets.

If you take into consideration the time involved on the part of the adult pair, 2 to 3 weeks to lay all the eggs & a further 6 weeks of incubation once all the eggs have been laid.

Posted May 2nd at 6:21 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

elberry cove

2 small grebes seen this morning in cove ( both by 3rd buoy), both dived and not seen after.  didn't have my bins with me and although eyesight iffy they looked a bit "stumpy" (little grebes maybe). 

Posted May 2nd at 6:07 pm by graham folkerd in General Birding

Roborough Down 02-05-19

Plenty of Redpolls on Roborough today along with Linnets, Yellowhammers, a Cuckoo Heard but not seen, and an amazing catch of a Skylark having a mud bath

Redpoll (M)Skylark's Mud bath
Redpoll (M)                               Skylark's Mud bath

Posted May 2nd at 4:11 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Tarka Trail

Cycled to Barnstaple and back this morning. 1 Black-tailed Godwit on the scrape. A smattering of Whimbrel between Ashford and Barnstaple. 7 Black-tailed Godwits with a Knot at Potting ton + an adult Mediterranean Gull.

At Sherpa marsh last night 7 Greenshank, and 8 Gadwall, 3 Little Egrets and at last a fair few Swallows.

Posted May 2nd at 1:28 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Wednesday 1st May 2019


Three Divers off the memorial car park this afternoon, one Great Northern but the other two too far out to ID properly (but probably Red-throated). Swift, Hobby and Yellow Wag yesterday but very quiet for hirundines. I can't beleive that I have still not seen House Martin this year!

Posted May 1st at 11:36 pm by Rich Billington in General Birding


Lesser Redpoll f feeding with several Siskins on sunflower feeder.

Posted May 1st at 8:24 pm by Mary Irving in General Birding


Late aft / early eve:- 5 Wheatear, 5 Swifts, a single House Martin, 4 Whimbrel, 3 Greenshank & 1 Common Sandpiper.

Posted May 1st at 7:06 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

elberry cove

a single swallow seen this morning on the green at the elberry end

Posted May 1st at 3:12 pm by graham folkerd in General Birding


cuckoo heard yesterday afternoon from my garden on nearby farmland 

Posted May 1st at 3:05 pm by graham folkerd in General Birding

Rockbeare, East Devon

Thanks to Facebook I learnt of Rockbeare residents reporting 3 Ring-necked Parrakeet in and around the village.  A large oak tree in parkland at the rear of Cranbrook Veterinary Clinic seems to have been their roost but this came down in recent high winds.  Following a short visit this afternoon I managed to locate one bird very hidden in a cherry tree in Parsons Lane.  Absence of neck markings suggests it's a female.  Thanks to 'Susan W' for helping me with location.

Posted May 1st at 2:49 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

01-05-19 Redpolls

Redpolls are back again on Roborough Down, showing a bit shy, but managed to get 1 shot of a male

Posted May 1st at 2:29 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

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