General Birding

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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Tuesday 14th May 2019

Berry Head 14th May

Pleasant half hour from 5pm sat on Berry Head looking out to sea towards the Mew Stone. Lots of activity over the water besides numerous common gulls there were 5 black back gulls, 2 gannets, 20 crows and 40+ plus guillemots.

Posted May 14th, 2019 at 9:52 pm by David Roper in General Birding

Red Kites

Two red kites spotted above Teignmouth on the north side of the estuary moving west to east at 08.15 14th May. 

Posted May 14th, 2019 at 7:26 pm by Bryan Smith in General Birding


Finally seeing swifts. First one last Saturday (11th May) over Rumsam area of Barnstaple and two today over Yelland.

Posted May 14th, 2019 at 7:03 pm by Robert Morgan in General Birding

exminster marsh

taking a early walk from the rsbp carpark by the railway line, there were sand martins, house martins, swallows and two hobbys hunting over the marsh, and on the way back to the carpark i had good views of the lesser whitethroat.

Posted May 14th, 2019 at 6:41 pm by roger jewell in General Birding


3 Swifts, my first this year,. Yellowhammer on Yennadon Down. 

Posted May 14th, 2019 at 3:32 pm by Mave Goddard in General Birding

14-05-19 Cuckoo at Cadover Area

A cuckoo showing very well near Cadover Bridge Area by the old filled in clay pit, constantly getting attacked by Meadow Pipits, managed some fairly good shots



Posted May 14th, 2019 at 2:53 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding


Red Kite heading East over Coombe Valley 11.20 am....

Posted May 14th, 2019 at 11:29 am by Neil Graham in General Birding

Monday 13th May 2019

Nightjars at Cann Wood, Plympton

Heard one Nightjar churring at 9:20, and another later on 'Kwicking' at opposite sides of the wood, but didn't see either.

Posted May 13th, 2019 at 11:28 pm by Chris & Janet Marcol in General Birding

Nightjars at Haldon

Single Nightjar churring and flying in the Harcombe area of Greater Haldon at 21:10 this evening.

Posted May 13th, 2019 at 10:19 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding

River Caen

Walked to the estuary late afternoon.

Several Whitethroat, Stonechat and Meadow Pipit, and a few passage waders: 2 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 1 Oystercatcher (probable resident) 3 Ringed Plover,1 Dunlin and a few Curlew. No sign of Osprey. 

Posted May 13th, 2019 at 9:16 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Red kite

Saw a single red kite flying over newton abbot this evening. First time I've see one in Devon 

Posted May 13th, 2019 at 8:58 pm by Emma Blake in General Birding

Whitleigh Garden

First swifts of the year over garden three in number.

Posted May 13th, 2019 at 7:38 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

Whitleigh Garden

Two red kites over 16.00 hrs.

Posted May 13th, 2019 at 7:34 pm by Chris Buckland in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram Sunday 12th May

Two Wheatears (male & female), Grey Wagtail, 2 Stock Doves, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers, the lingering Curlew & 7 Roe Deer (2 bucks).

Posted May 13th, 2019 at 3:53 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Red Kite just (12.05p.m) flew south over my house in Braunton.

Posted May 13th, 2019 at 12:20 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Beaches around Thurlestone 12/05/19 early morn

At least 12 whimbrel on the beaches plus two Bar-tailed godwits, 3 whitethroats and a skylark on the corner of the golf course.

Bar-tailed GodwitWhitethroatWhimbrel
Bar-tailed Godwit                             Whitethroat                                        Whimbrel

Posted May 13th, 2019 at 6:24 am by Richie moore in General Birding

Sunday 12th May 2019

Swifts Plymouth

Our first swifts of the year over the garden this afternoon around 16:00 group of three calling high over.

Posted May 12th, 2019 at 10:39 pm by Graham Devine in General Birding

Thornbury Plymouth

Sighted over Thornbury Plymouth, Red Kite being harassed by 3 Buzzards at 10:50

Posted May 12th, 2019 at 9:42 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in General Birding

Combe Martin Swifts

First swifts of 2019 in Combe Martin: 2 silent at 11.50, followed by 3 screamers at 18.00.

Posted May 12th, 2019 at 8:05 pm by Jonathan Nicholl in General Birding

mear valley exmouth

2 ringneck parakeet

Posted May 12th, 2019 at 7:41 pm by barry insull in General Birding

Gallaven Brook Dartmoor

On a glorious day Meadow Pipits and Skylarks. A number of Stonechats between Scorhill and Hound Tor harassing the Ten Tors walkers. Kestrel seen hunting and Cuckoo heard calling along the brook.

Posted May 12th, 2019 at 5:38 pm by Chris Godfrey in General Birding

River Exe, Stoke Woods

2 possible Cattle Egret seen this evening from the train whilst going past Stoke Woods, glimpse was fleeting but looked promising if anyone wants to go and check if they’re the real thing. 

Posted May 12th, 2019 at 5:25 pm by Toby Mylett in General Birding

Trendlebeare Down

Plenty of stonechat and linnet plus several yellowhammer.

Posted May 12th, 2019 at 11:17 am by Ian Muir in General Birding

Home Farm Marsh

8.30 a.m. River Taw- Osprey still present-being harassed by two gulls, an Oystercatcher and a Curlew. Cettis Warbler seen and heard on Tarka Trail near Instow.

Posted May 12th, 2019 at 11:05 am by Seamus Ivers in General Birding

Red Kite

Just seen one from my garden on clovelly rd Bideford drifting see probably over littleham area.3 swifts here chasing as well ????.

Posted May 12th, 2019 at 10:11 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

South Huish early morning

Grasshopper warbler - 1 reeling, dunlin 1 sp, whimbrel 1

Posted May 12th, 2019 at 10:06 am by Richard Archer in General Birding

Saturday 11th May 2019

Bovey Tracey Area 11/05/19

Chudleigh Knighton Heath.
Yellowhammer, Large Red Damselfly.
Bovey Heathfield Heath.
2 x Yellowhammer (m&f), Slow-worm, Common Newt.
Yarner Woods.
4+  Pied Flycatcher, Pearl-bordered Fritillary.
Stover Park.
Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Marsh Tit, Chaffinch, Mandarin, Mallards, Grey Squirrels

Posted May 11th, 2019 at 8:53 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Bolberry Down & South Huish Marsh

Male Ruff west over Bolberry Down, later seen on South Huish Marsh together with Dunlin, 2 Barnacle Geese, White Wagtail & several, presumably migrant, Pied Wagtails

Posted May 11th, 2019 at 8:26 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


Sherpa had 13 Pied/White Wagtails (3 of the latter) this evening. Still no Yellow ones though.

Posted May 11th, 2019 at 8:18 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Exmoor,the Devon side.

Just a few more photos, if that's ok,

Pied FlycatcherCommon RedpollGrey Wagtail
Pied Flycatcher                    Common Redpoll                                      Grey Wagtail

Eds: it will be a Lesser Redpoll 

Posted May 11th, 2019 at 5:40 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Exmoor,the Devon side.

Redpoll,Willow Warbler,Pied flycatcher,Spotted Flycatcher,Redstart,Blackcap,Cuckoo,Whinchat,Grey Wagtail, Dipper,GreenWoodpecker,Larks Pipits,2 Swift ,nice numbers of swallows and martins,really pleased with the good amounts of birds especially nice to see 6 spotted flycatchers.

RedstartSpotted FlycatcherWhinchat
Redstart                                   Spotted Flycatcher                  Whinchat Eds: Stonechat

Posted May 11th, 2019 at 5:35 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Yesterday at Prawle 10th May

Yesterday was a lovely day to be out though few new migrants although 3 Spotted Flycatchers (my first of the year) were in the area ( the reserve, Ashpark Lane and Stallions Bite).

Also good views of Green Hairstreak and Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary (plus lots of Orange Tips)

Spotted Flycatcher                             Green Hairstreak


Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary


Posted May 11th, 2019 at 1:46 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding


4pm yesterday, 6 Whimbrel on beach.

Posted May 11th, 2019 at 7:40 am by Charlotte Crow in General Birding

Friday 10th May 2019

Shipley Bridge/Avon Dam

Late afternoon, of note: 4 Whinchats (3 males), 1m Cuckoo, 2 Redpolls, usual Willow Warblers and Stonechats, Dipper and Grey Wagtail on the river, Buzzard and Kestrel  etc

Posted May 10th, 2019 at 11:26 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Occombe, Paignton

Spotted Flycatcher seen and observed for approx 10 minutes this afternoon. Only seen once.before 2 years ago in September. Plenty of Blackcaps calling. Song Thrush, Jay, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Chiffchaff, nesting Blue Tits, Long-tailed Tits, Buzzard.

Posted May 10th, 2019 at 10:38 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding


Delighted to report the arrival of 6 new mowing machines in the reserve this morning. In the form of Canada Geese goslings. They were already in the meadow when I was leaving.

Lots of Swallows House and Sand Martins around Sherpa this evening, But still no Yellow Wagtail. 3/4 Swift. 4 Grey Herons and 3 Cormorants flew off.

Posted May 10th, 2019 at 10:08 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

South Milton Ley & South Huish marsh

Nice spotted flycatcher at South Milton and a few Sedge warblers, 5 whimbrel on the rocks and a ruff on the marsh at South Huish

Spotted FlycatcherSedge WarblerRuff
Spotted Flycatcher                      Sedge Warbler                                 Ruff

Posted May 10th, 2019 at 9:50 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Yarner and Trendlebere

A morning walk, ending just before the rain came, produced a Cuckoo, a Common Redstart, many Pied Flycatchers, several Garden Warblers and Tree Pipits, two pairs of Redpolls busy with display flights, and most of the commoner woodland birds, but no Wood Warblers, alas.

Posted May 10th, 2019 at 8:46 pm by James Camden in General Birding

Exeter GCG

Great Crested Grebes with chick.

Short video

Great Crested Grebe
Great Crested Grebe

Posted May 10th, 2019 at 7:13 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

ringneck parakeet

saltrum 9 ringneck parakeet by cafe

Posted May 10th, 2019 at 5:40 pm by barry insull in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

My first Spotted Flycatchers (2) and Swifts (3) of year, here. Also 6 Mandarin Ducks (5 drakes), 2 Whimbrels, Stock Dove, 3 Wheatears (1 male), 3 Roe Deer & Small Heath.

Posted May 10th, 2019 at 4:35 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Around Lynton

Whitethroat,Blackcaps,Redstart,Willow Warblers,Tree Pipit,Linnets, Goldfinch,Fulmars,stonechats,Wheatear,greening up nicely and really lovely early morning chorus. Not quite dawn!!!!

Black Cap.Willow WarblerWhitethroat.
Black Cap.                     Willow Warbler                             Whitethroat.

Posted May 10th, 2019 at 3:51 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Morte Point

0650 - 1125. 60+ Manx Shears flying W, 2 Canada Geese flying E (my 107th species for this site), 1 Whimbrel (first this year), 1 Sedge Warbler in full song, 1 Common Gull, 2 Gannet, 7 Willows, 1 Chiff, 8 Whitethroat, c25 House Martin, 10 Sand Martin, 18 Swallow plus 22 other Species. 1 Orange Tip the only butterfly.

Canada GeeseWhimbrel
Canada Geese                           Whimbrel

Posted May 10th, 2019 at 3:40 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding

Thursday 9th May 2019


This evening walked round Sherpa accompanied by the inquisitive cattle which actually help as a sort of mobile hide! In the centre field with a small strip of mud/water at last a few Wagtails: 5 Pied and 2 White. Also a strange record of a very muddy-footed male Whinchat! Good numbers of Swallows and Sand Martins and several Swifts too. First set (of 3) Canada goslings.

In the reserve caught a modest 5 Swallows and a Sedge Warbler. Plus a Reed Warbler which I ringed in July 2014 as a 3J so now near 5 years old.

Posted May 9th, 2019 at 10:16 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Steps Bridge

A morning stroll up to Clifford Bridge and back produced two Common Redstarts, at least six Pied Flycatchers, a Garden Warbler, two pairs of Dippers and a small flock of Crossbills, plus most of the expected common species. A pleasantly-sheltered place to visit on a windy day.

Posted May 9th, 2019 at 6:30 pm by James Camden in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

Quick afternoon visit. Hobby at least 2 maybe 4. Spoonbill. Common Lizard, god numbers of hirundine including a few Swift.

Spoonbill video

Common Lizard video

SpoonbillHobby - distantCommon Lizard
Spoonbill                                              Hobby - distant                   Common Lizard

Posted May 9th, 2019 at 5:35 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Holcombe swifts

Two heading west 6am this morning. Just kept going.

Posted May 9th, 2019 at 5:15 pm by Barney Donnellan in General Birding

Exminster Marshes

The adult Spoonbill was showing well this lunchtime. Good numbers of House Martins, plus a few Sand Martins and Swifts. 1 Hobby and 1 Peregrine. Also a Weasel and some kind of Shrew.

Posted May 9th, 2019 at 4:07 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Berry Head

Single Swift off the very end feeding last night

Posted May 9th, 2019 at 12:52 pm by Tim Clyburn in General Birding

Wednesday 8th May 2019


Hooray the Swift's are back.7 over Stanhope terrace/northdown rd and more importantly 4 on clovelly rd/Waterloo terrace area close to my boxes.May get to lure them in come the weekend.20:20-2030

Posted May 8th, 2019 at 9:00 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Exminister Marsh

Male Garganey, Ad Spoonbill, 215+ Dunlin, 10 Whimbrel, 25+ Swift, c10 Sand Martin, 15+ House Martin on Exminister Marsh early this morning. 

Lunch time Adult Spoonbill still present, 120+ Swift, 70+ House Martin, Lesser Whitethroat along railway line & Little Gull 2nd Summer, flew over from Powderham Marsh. 

Posted May 8th, 2019 at 11:24 am by Steve Cox in General Birding

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