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

Tuesday 9th July 2019

Velator Reserve

Ringing this morning after a 3 week break produced good numbers of migrant Warblers  (2 Willow Warblers were unusual at this time of year) and 2 Cetti's Warblers. In addition, a further 3 juvenile female Kingfishers were ringed,  with Azolla weed blocking many of the ditches on the Great Field, maybe this is a feeding opportunity for them. 7 Juvenile Wrens were notable.

Posted July 9th at 10:16 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Bowling Green Marsh

The moulting summer plumaged Spotted Redshank was still present early afternoon. Also 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and a few Whimbrel.

Posted July 9th at 9:03 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Monday 8th July 2019


Hooray! 4 Black-tailed Godwits on the scrape! Along with a Pied Wagtail and 2 Swallows. A male Tufted Duck on Sherpa pond. 2 Sand Martins over the pond.

Posted July 8th at 9:05 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


South hush marsh,ad little ringed plover,4sp Dublin, 2red v darters.

Posted July 8th at 4:59 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in General Birding


Osprey flew down river 4 pm Sunday 

Posted July 8th at 3:04 pm by Gerry Hooper in General Birding

R.Taw Barnstaple between Pottington and Ashford sewage Works, 1230-1330

4 adult Mediterranean Gulls feeding on foreshore with 100s of returning B.H.Gulls.

Posted July 8th at 2:54 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Med Gull on cricket pitch

Based on the address of the birder who posted this I would say it is Instow Cricket Ground. Would Martin Bennett please confirm and ensure a record is sent to the data manager. Posting on here does not always make the records as has been previously stated. Many thanks

Posted July 8th at 12:37 pm by Karen Sims in General Birding

Sunday 7th July 2019

Mediterranean gull

Yes, it is a Mediterranean Gull. Large, bright red bill and black cap extending much further down nape than the brown cap of the Black-headed gull are diagnostic. Please give location. Which cricket pitch - where?

Posted July 7th at 4:29 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Mediterranean Gull - maybe?

Seen near the cricket field on Sunday morning 11.00 am ish.

This might be a Mediterranean Gull standing near a black headed gull. It appeared to be very different to the BHG standing next to it.

Mediterranean Gull?
Mediterranean Gull?

Posted July 7th at 1:27 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Saturday 6th July 2019

Taw Estuary - Pottington

1 Knot foraging amongst the BH Gulls am.

Posted July 6th at 7:34 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Spotted Flycatcher?

Birds nesting in doorway opposite.

Not great images, but can anyone confirm it is a spotted flycatcher nest?


Eds: yes a Spotted Flycatcher - please use the above link to help with bird identifications

Posted July 6th at 6:27 pm by Alun Sherwood in General Birding

Dragonflies at Stover

Highlights of a day 'dragonflying' at Stover were male Lesser Emperor and Red-veined Darter over the lake, plus both Large and Small Redeyes and many Black-tailed Skimmers. No sign of Scarce Chasers - checked the fringes from boat with Jon Avon - but one photographed away from water yesterday.

Posted July 6th at 6:13 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding


27 med gulls.17 adults,2 ss,7fs& probably my earliest juvenile.50 bhg's,2 whimbrel,39 curlew 1dunlin.07:40-08:15

Posted July 6th at 4:02 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Seaton Marshes

Whimbrel heard at 08:00 this morning with members of the Axe Estuary Ringing Group. 

Posted July 6th at 2:50 pm by T. M. Mylett in General Birding

Friday 5th July 2019

Taw Estuary

First flock of returning Redshank I have seen so far this summer on the north side of the Taw Estuary.

Posted July 5th at 10:28 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding


First returning med gulls this evening.6,2 adults,2nd summer,3 FS.40 bhg's only one juv.20 curlew,14 dunlin.19:20-1945.

Posted July 5th at 8:57 pm by Robert Marshall in General Birding

central park pre roost

around 100 ringneck parakeet inc 3 blue juvenile babies along with blue adult

Posted July 5th at 7:45 pm by barry insull in General Birding

South Brent Redstarts

My first juvenile Redstarts of autumn, presumably dispersing away from natal areas - two near Aish Ridge this morning and one on Brent Hill on 3 July.

Posted July 5th at 12:11 pm by Peter Reay in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

On this mornings high tide the following were seen.

Curlew 24, Redshank 62, Greenshank 2, Common Sandpiper 5, Little Egret 11, Grey Heron 4, Med Gull 1 1st sp, Shelduck 2 with 2 juv, Stock 9, Green Woodpecker 3, GSW 2, Peregrine and Whitethroat 2.

Posted July 5th at 11:05 am by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Thursday 4th July 2019


3 Black tailed Godwits on R.Caen early evening, 95 Black headed Gulls including 5 smart juv's & 75 Starling consisting of mainly juveniles on the Jetty.

Posted July 4th at 7:27 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

White-letter Hairstreak

I've nurtured suckering Elms in my Chudleigh garden for over 30 years and this afternoon my efforts were rewarded with brief sightings of a White-letter Hairstreak. The species has been assumed to breed in the Wych Elms in woodland over 500m away (Simon Mitchell showed me an egg there about 25 years ago!), but this is my first adult here. (Only known from a few locations elsewhere in Devon.) While I was waiting with camera for it to re-appear (which it didn't). 

  Common Buzzard


Posted July 4th at 6:28 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

4th July 2019

The long-staying Slavonian Grebe and 15 Sandwich Tern were the highlights.

Also Buzzard, Kestrel, Little Egret, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Swallow, Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Stonechat, Linnet and Reed Bunting.

Later at Flow Point were 18 Little Egret, 5 Grey Heron and 2 Shelduck with 3 young.

Posted July 4th at 5:30 pm by C L North in General Birding

Exe estuary

Near Turf this morning at high tide 3 common sandpipers flew north, 4 common terns flew south and two family parties of shelduck (2 & 10 yn) stayed put.Single sandwich tern in channel.

Posted July 4th at 5:24 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Bolberry Down

First signs of autumn migration with 33 Sand Martins and 3 Swifts moving east along the cliffs.

Non-avian: 2 male Red-veined Darters, one giving cracking views perched up in the sun. Also Beautiful Demoiselle (new record for the Bolt Head to Bolt Tail site) and first Southern Hawker.

Posted July 4th at 2:19 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Wednesday 3rd July 2019

Hope's Nose

3th July 2019


Short but sweet visit this evening 

5 Common Scoter were the highlights

40 Manx Shearwater

C.140 Guillemot were on ledges on Ore Stone

5 Gannet, numerous Cormorant and Shag

2 Oystercatcher 

A pod of c. 12 Common Dolphin were distant and seen heading towards Berry Head

Posted July 3rd at 9:57 pm by C L North in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

My first Whitethroat of the year since Spring migrants, here; also Green Woodpecker, 23 Mandarin Ducks, Black-tailed Godwit (summer plumage), Greenshank, 46 Redshanks, 1st-s Mediterranean Gull & 4 Stock Doves.

Butterflies included a good count of 80+ Marbled Whites & my first Gatekeepers (3) of the year.

Posted July 3rd at 7:03 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Bicton Common-East Devon

14 members of DB attended the East Devon Branch Nightjar evening yesterday.  A perfect evening with the bonus of a distant Hobby and Stonechats before we reached our viewing position.  First calls of Nightjar were heard at 9.45pm and a pair showed well during the time we were present.  The pair settled on the path and a tree giving great views.  It was agreed that calls and churring on the common were noticeably less than might be expected.  

Posted July 3rd at 8:53 am by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Tuesday 2nd July 2019

Juvenile Black-headed gull

Juvenile and adult Black-headed gulls near Barnstaple long bridge.

Posted July 2nd at 11:00 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding


56 Shags on the Mew Stone inc.18+ freshly fledged juvs - a very good result. Looks like a bad year for breeding Cirl Buntings not helped by some very questionable management by NT. 

Non-avian; Red-veined Darter by Goat Rock. 

Posted July 2nd at 3:16 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Waders are starting to arrive back, on this mornings high tide the following were seen :

Redshank 52, Curlew 22, Greenshank 1, Black Tailed Godwit 1, Common Sandpiper 4, Med Gull 2, Little Egret 8 and 10 Stock Dove.

Posted July 2nd at 11:24 am by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Monday 1st July 2019

Red kite-Plymouth

Red kite seen going over the Plessey roundabout at Roborough, Plymouth at about 15:30, Sunday.

Posted July 1st at 10:19 pm by Andy Quest in General Birding

Plym Estuary

On this afternoons high tide the following were seen:

Grey Heron 8, Little Egret 8, Curlew 20, Black Tailed Godwit 1 sp and Med Gull 3 all 1st sp.

Posted July 1st at 9:13 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

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