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  Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug 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
Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May  


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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Saturday 15th June 2019


On Dartmoor yesterday 14 June I saw a number of Siskins, a Nuthatch, male and female Chaffinch and usual Blue tits, Great tits and lots of Swallows.

Female SiskinMale Siskin
Female Siskin                                                   Male Siskin

Posted June 15th, 2019 at 12:51 am by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Friday 14th June 2019

Bowling Green Marsh

The Spoonbill was still at BGM this lunchtime. Very little else.

Posted June 14th, 2019 at 4:39 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Turf Lock

I have been keeping a eye on the pontoon where I know at least 3 Swallow nests are, 2 have fledged this morning, 1 set of 4 and another of 5. By the sound of the noisy chicks on the 3rd nest they wont be long to join the rest. The adults finding plenty of food along the canal bank. With the apparent Swallow numbers down this year, its great to see all these fledglings in one place.


Posted June 14th, 2019 at 2:05 pm by simon Thurgood in General Birding

Wednesday 12th June 2019

Spotted Flycatcher on the Otter

Spotted Flycatcher this afternoon on the Otter, downstream from Ottery St Mary, among the newly planted trees. Lovely to see one again.

Posted June 12th, 2019 at 8:58 pm by Martin Littlemore in General Birding

NT. Killerton Estate, East Devon

Took a walk around the hills behind Killerton House thinking it might be a good area for a future fieldtrip.  Found a Spotted Flycatcher in the grounds of Killerton Chapel.  Nuthatch and some woodpeckers (Green and Gt Spotted)elsewhere but generally very few birds for such a varied habitat.  After talking to NT staff I learnt that the entire estate including the extensive woodlands (The Clump, Park Wood Columjohn Wood, The Plains etc are not free access and that unless one is a NT member, you have to pay an admission fee, plus the car park at £2 for two hours (£4 all day).   During my childhood there was a heronry at The Clump but not for many years.

Posted June 12th, 2019 at 5:37 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Swallow - Wrafton Pond

Emailed ML with original photo & noted a crack in the upper mandible which suggests a fracture or breakage due to a possible collision.

I noted this morning that this bird was flying very slowly & while stalling, picking insects from the leaves of shrubs which suggests the growth impairs it's ability to feed in the usual manner so has had to adapt it's feeding behaviour to some extent to allow for this, though the poor bird is obviously struggling to survive.

Posted June 12th, 2019 at 3:41 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Wrafton Pond, Taw Estuary

Stopped off at the pond to have a look on my way along the Tarka trail to  Barnstaple.  4 House Martins & 2 Swallows were foraging within a few metres of the boardwalk .One of the Swallows was so close to where I was standing I had to take a step back to avoid a possible collision.

This one Swallow alighted twice on the handrail at the side of the boardwalk only 2 metres away from where I was standing & rested for some time. My initial assessment was the bird was exhausted or unwell.

Looking at the photos when I got home I noticed it had an abnormal upper mandible. I have not been able to identify what it is. Is it a growth of some sort from an injury or a parasite that has attached itself to the bill?

Good to see at least one pair of Shelduck with 10 juveniles on the north side of the Taw estuary between Chivenor & Barnstaple, but could only find one pair.


Posted June 12th, 2019 at 1:17 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding


Family of 5 nuthatches, and 2 Y Gr. Sp. Woodpeckers being fed in our Gribbleford garden 

Posted June 12th, 2019 at 10:58 am by Sue Clark in General Birding

Pied? Female blackbird

Female pied blackbird cormelles court car park area in combemartin. Quite spectacular when she flew with her white wings. Phone camera shot 

Posted June 12th, 2019 at 10:20 am by Philip worth in General Birding

Tuesday 11th June 2019

Dawlish, a positive note!

After being inspired by my good friend Mark Glanvile who runs “Bristol Swifts” these last couple years I’ve been trying to find out more about the Swifts, Swallows and House Martins that nest around Dawlish. On my evening walk around the center, unfortunately didn’t see the Alpine Swift seen earlier but did see 15 Common Swifts. They seem to be nesting in three main areas and have reclaimed a historic nesting site that wasn’t used last year, the number do seem to be up.

While Swallows do seemed to have disappeared this year, House Martins have found a new nesting site in the new housing development next to Sainsbury’s, 20+ birds here which is a positive sign, the odd thing here is they are only nesting on houses with the white render, don’t know why?

Posted June 11th, 2019 at 8:09 pm by simon Thurgood in General Birding

Dawlish Alpine Swift

Alpine swift seen over the strand and Brunswick place Dawlish at 4pm with common swifts and house martins 

Posted June 11th, 2019 at 4:58 pm by Graeme Davey in General Birding


A Red Kite appeared over Scadson Woods between heavy rain showers at 10.20 hours. Quickly joined by the local Herring Gull population it gained height and headed towards Paignton. First new garden tick for me in a long time !!!

Posted June 11th, 2019 at 1:09 pm by Clive Mason in General Birding


Been off in  foreign parts for a few days (well, Cornwall!) Returned to the reserve yesterday to find what looked like a full set of feathers from an adult Wood Pigeon on the grass. Female Sparrowhawk of perhaps a passing Peregrine?

This morning a Kingfisher perched over the pond (the nearby river being too muddy).

Posted June 11th, 2019 at 12:22 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Monday 10th June 2019


Just before the rains came this evening a sparrowhawk had his dinner in next doors garden - not so good for its prey, a probable sparrow

Posted June 10th, 2019 at 10:10 pm by Colin Dracott in General Birding

River Otter, South Farm Road Bridge

Cuckoo heard calling briefly in late AM (11:00).

Posted June 10th, 2019 at 8:21 pm by Toby Mylett in General Birding

East Devon


10th June 2019

Seaton Wetlands- 8 Little Egret, Grey Heron, 2 Cormorant, 3 Mute Swan, 55 Shelduck, 30 Mallard, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, B-H Gull, Herring Gull, 1 LB-B Gull and GB-B Gull.

Eds: This post has been edited.  Please read the list of rare breeding and vulnerable Devon Birds that should not appear in sighting postings, normally the whole post is deleted.

Posted June 10th, 2019 at 4:29 pm by C L North in General Birding


Two parakeets seen in Rockbeare 5.30 am.

Posted June 10th, 2019 at 7:45 am by Maggie Heal in General Birding

Sunday 9th June 2019

Capstone Parade

All Wk I've been seeing this handsome brute Great Black Backed Gull and it's mate raiding Ilfracombes roofs of its Herring Gull eggs and chicks.  Manx Shearwaters now passing in good numbers most days. Over at Pottington ind estate among Lesser bb and Herring Gull nesting sites at least 2 pairs of Oystercatchers on nests. 

Great Black-backed GullWhitethroat
Great Black-backed Gull                               Whitethroat

Posted June 9th, 2019 at 8:20 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding


Yesterday 8/6 pair of yellowhammers male singing well, possible sighting of young y/hammer.2 white throat males singing,and one very large Raven flying overhead,small group of linnets one male Stonechat.

a good morning for the area.

Posted June 9th, 2019 at 5:56 pm by Malcolm Seymour in General Birding

Chambercombe Manor

Highlight of a damp and disappointing couple of hours at CM. Seems to be a male Bullfinch passing food to a female rather than to a juvenile. Display perhaps?

Posted June 9th, 2019 at 3:21 pm by Derek Stacey in General Birding


It was nice to see a Puffin with the Guillemots at Ore stone today

Posted June 9th, 2019 at 2:38 pm by Robert Hughes in General Birding

09-06-19 Tawny Owl Chicks

2 Tawny Owl Chicks just sitting in a tree in Plymouth

Tawny Owl Chicks
Tawny Owl Chicks

Posted June 9th, 2019 at 1:57 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding


The goosander on the Otter still has 13 of her ducklings.

Posted June 9th, 2019 at 1:36 pm by Maggie Heal in General Birding

Bowling green Marsh

Spoonbill still eating voraciously

Posted June 9th, 2019 at 12:22 pm by Ryan Knight in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Seen before this mornings high tide were the following.

Med Gull 1st summer in amongst the 41 BHG, Oystercatcher 3, Curlew 1, Green Woodpecker 2, GSW 1, Stock Dove 4, Little Egret 3 & Grey Heron 2.

Posted June 9th, 2019 at 11:23 am by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Saturday 8th June 2019

Bowling Green Marsh this morning

Spoonbill dropped in about 10:30 and fed voraciously for a couple of hours. Also three Greenshank and two adult Mediterranean Gulls - around 35 species in total

Posted June 8th, 2019 at 1:20 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

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