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

Wednesday 21st August 2019

Teignmouth Garden, New Road

16:00 Looking skywards, 60+ House Martin, 7+ Swallow, one Swift and a Sparrowhawk. Lots of Painted Ladies, Red Admirals and Small Tortoiseshell. Great views of a Southern Hawker

Posted August 21st at 8:00 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

Emsworthy Mire

Amongst the numerous Stonechat and Linnet were single GS Woodpecker, Redstart (female), and Spotted Flycatcher.

Posted August 21st at 3:36 pm by John Walton in General Birding

Lyme Bay Boat Trip.

Today's boat trip out into Lyme Bay with the RSPB Exeter local group was fairly fruitful with 5+ Porpoise, 10+ Common Dolphin joining us before we had traveled far from Berry Head. Much further out the following birds sighted, 10 Kittiwake, Fulmar, Gannet, 6 Scoter, many small groups of Guillemots ,9 Shearwater, some Manx but most seen at a distance, Great-black backed Gull and large numbers of Herring Gull. The best was 3 Great Skua chasing the gulls but also young Herring Gulls chasing the Skua! An unusual sight was a Fulmar being attacked on the water by young Herring Gulls.  Another trip on Sunday so will be interesting to see what is about.

Posted August 21st at 3:21 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding


Birded 07.50 until 11 highlight Green Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper. one juvenile Turnstone, a couple of Greenshank a few hirundines over. Good numbers of BH Gulls but no Meds. Few small waders lots of Redshank and Curlew, Blackwits and a Whimbrel. Kingfisher and juv Reed Warbler on Goosemoor



Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Posted August 21st at 2:43 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Cookworthy Moor, near Ashwater

The clearfell and forestry areas this morning produced:-

4 Redpolls, 1 Jay, 1 Buzzard, 1 Stonechat, numerous Swallows feeding over the clearfell plus a few Sand Martins, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Crossbill (heard), Blue and Great Tits.  1 Gatekeepe.

Harvey Kendall & Barry Bryne..

Posted August 21st at 11:47 am by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

Tuesday 20th August 2019

Nightjars at Bovey Heathfield

Two birds watched from 20.45 - 21.05. Both female/juvenile. No churring heard whilst on Heath.

Posted August 20th at 9:39 pm by John Walton in General Birding

Marsh Mills to Blaxton Meadow 20/8/2019

Went over to Saltram area this morning.

At Marsh Mills (where the Tory Brook meets the River Plym) was a Dipper (Coloured Rings: Red over Orange Right Leg ;Yellow over Grey? Left Leg).

On Blaxton Meadow 20 or so Curlew,  2 Herons. 3 Little Egrets, .a single Oystercatcher and about 80 Canada Geese.  Also a very photogenic Robin.

Other things were about 10 Painted Ladies, a Red Admiral and a Jersy Tiger

Posted August 20th at 7:31 pm by Michael Spencer in General Birding

Additions today Fremington Quay and home farm.

4 Common sandpiper,4 young turnstone,The Glossy Ibis perching " young Shellducks and a large flock of Goldfinches, all the rest as reported earlier.

Mediterranean Gull
Mediterranean Gull

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Posted August 20th at 7:30 pm by john elvin in General Birding

R.Taw - Penhill Marsh and Freminton Pill. 1015-1215. H/T 0932

2 Med Gulls and 14 Black-tailed Godwit among a roost of about 3-400 Black-headed Gulls at the Barnstaple end of the marsh. Tide 1hr in ebb.

16 Med Gulls in a smaller roost of about 40 BHGs at the Penhill Pt end of marsh.

11.30 2 Turnstone at mouth of Fremington Pill and 2 Dunlin and 27 Redshank in the Pill. Water level in the Pill still at half ebb.

Posted August 20th at 4:49 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

East Soar

Migrants beginning to trickle through with Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, 19 Whitethroat, 7 Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler & Green Woodpecker (only 2nd record this year). Also Sparrowhawk, 50 Swallow, 40 House Sparrow.

Non-avian: 33 Painted Lady, 49 Small Copper, 2 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Golden-ringed Dragonfly.

Flora: 178 Autumn Lady's Tresses flower spikes - a sensational count and thanks to National Trust for not grazing this area.

Posted August 20th at 2:24 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Shobrooke Park/Bowling Green Marsh

Hi, message for Chris Marcol RE his photos of a Bar-Headed type goose from Bowling Green Marsh on the 14th of his month - sorry to post on here but not sure how else to contact contributors - I believe your bird is in fact the Canada x Bar-head hybrid that was hatched here at Shobrooke Park last summer by our now semi-resident Bar-Headed Goose (first arrived here in mid 2014) and one of the many summering Canada Geese. The bird is identical in plumage and I have observed more unusual birds (plumage-wise/based on ring data) to frequently travel quite far from the park only to return again in the next few days, if not sooner, and sure enough, this hybrid bird was present again yesterday evening in our main pre-roost flock of Canadas (see my post from yesterday). So yes, the bird is indeed a Canada x Bar-head hybrid as you correctly thought that it may be, and I do indeed think it is highly likely to be the same individual, as I haven’t seen another goose of this hybrid type at all recently anywhere else in the Devon area. Hope this is of some help. If you’d like any more info about the bird’s history etc feel free to email me on Thank you! 

Posted August 20th at 8:22 am by T. M. Mylett in General Birding

Monday 19th August 2019

Shobrooke Park

Another good day's work on patch produced a few decent finds: the first 2 Cormorant of the summer/autumn dropped in towards the beginning of the evening, the Bar-headed X Canada Goose hybrid showed well in the Canada Goose flock (126 birds strong today) alongside its Bar-head parent, and a patch first of 2 Great Black-backed Gull arrived for a brief swim on the main lake.

Posted August 19th at 11:52 pm by T. M. Mylett in General Birding

South Brent

Presumed migrant whinchat below Avon Dam yesterday, and one on Brent Hill today, where also three wheatears and hobby..

Posted August 19th at 9:01 pm by Peter Reay in General Birding

Osprey on the Taw Estuary

Osprey on the Taw Estuary this pm. Feeding on its catch then going back for another fish. Looked like this bird was in no rush to move on. Photos were at some distance but hope someone can make out if its an adult or Juvenile from the photos.

Osprey feeding on its catch at Horsey Island North Devon
Osprey feeding on its catch at Horsey Island North Devon

Osprey heading over the Taw for seconds!
Osprey heading over the Taw for seconds!

Osprey banking around gaining height
Osprey banking around gaining height

Posted August 19th at 7:03 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Sunday 18th August 2019

Taw Estuary

Highlights from my WeBS count sector along Chivenor foreshore and Sherpa Marsh, included 49 Knot, a few Greenshank and Whimbrel, 34 Mediterranean Gulls, 8 Swifts and two Little Terns in flight close to the opposite shore - two of four birds seen by Tim Davis from his WeBS sector (Instow to Isley) at Yelland.

Posted August 18th at 9:16 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Broadsands Sunday 18.30

Single ringed plover sighted at 18.30 

Posted August 18th at 7:21 pm by Kevin Bates in General Birding

Glossy Ibis and Med Gulls at Fremington Quay

The Glossy Ibis is still at Fremington Pill today. Great light this am for the bird to show off its true colours. 25+ Med Gulls at Fremington Quay on the Taw Estuary at low water. 20+ Whimbrel roosting at RSPB Isley Marsh this pm.   

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Mediterranean Gulls near Fremington Quay
Mediterranean Gulls near Fremington Quay

Mediterranean Gull
Mediterranean Gull

Posted August 18th at 6:57 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Fremington Pill

Glossy ibis near the egret roost.

Posted August 18th at 6:18 pm by Richard Yeats in General Birding


On the rock beyond Instow cricket ground were - 8 ringed plover,  2 Turnstones and a great many Oyster catchers.

Distant shot of one Little ringed plover
Distant shot of one ringed plover

Posted August 18th at 1:15 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Teignmouth Sat 17th pm

Single wheatear foraging on the cliff along the the sea wall.

My first for this site.

Posted August 18th at 9:56 am by Patrick Case in General Birding

Saturday 17th August 2019


Kestrel, Wheatear and a number of Med. gulls at the Saunton end of Croyde beach.



Posted August 17th at 8:11 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding


Of all places, In my garden today feeding under Dad's apple trees. Alas no leg rings to tell if it's a passing Lundy bird. 

A brief look offshore, 15 Gannets were being mythered by a Great Skua. 


Posted August 17th at 7:01 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding

Saunton Sands

While doing one of my regular wader counts on Saunton Sands this morning good to see a single Wheatear on passage. Not unusual at this site at this time of year.

Posted August 17th at 4:57 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

R.Plym at Longbridge

A Dipper was down at Longbridge, Plympton, this morning no doubt driven downstream by the raised river level caused by the recent heavy rains. 

Posted August 17th at 2:09 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Four swifts just over the house on clovelly rd Bideford

Posted August 17th at 9:08 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Thursday 15th August 2019

Sherpa Marsh

A productive walk around the Marsh this evening: one juv Pied Wagtail, several Sand Martins and a few House Martins, 6/7 Swifts, 25 Swans - only 3 cygnets, 1 Lapwing, 1 Little Egret, best was (at last!) a juvenile Yellow Wagtail.

Posted August 15th at 10:22 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Saunton Sands & Braunton Burrows

Plenty of birds along the Saunton Sands shoreline late afternoon with 50+ Knot 200+ Sanderling, 200+ Oystercatcher the most ive seen here, 30+ Ringed Plover 30+ Dunlin. My first Yellow Wagtail of the early Autumn with 2 around the cattle on Braunton Marsh and two Osprey on the Taw Estuary a very pleasant walk.

Sanderling at Saunton Sands
Sanderling at Saunton Sands

Knot on Saunton Sands
Knot on Saunton Sands

2 Yellow Wagtail on Braunton Marsh
2 Yellow Wagtail on Braunton Marsh

Posted August 15th at 8:45 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Fremington Pill.

A walk along the road to Fremington Quay logged 70+ Redshank this afternoon in the Pill including good numbers of Juvs.  On the return back around 2:30 a single Glossy Ibis along with 2 Common Sandpiper were in the pool by the sluice.

Posted August 15th at 4:28 pm by Ken Ebsworthy in General Birding

Erme Holberton

Adult Osprey on the Erme water meadow this afternoon, sitting in dead tree with fish.

Posted August 15th at 4:15 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in General Birding

Erme Holberton

Adult Osprey on the Erme water meadow this afternoon, sitting in dead tree with fish.

Posted August 15th at 4:15 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in General Birding


Still quiet, just 4 Swift, 10 Whitethroat & 300 Linnet.

Posted August 15th at 3:37 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding


1 Dipper on Teign just upriver of Teigngrace

Posted August 15th at 9:43 am by Lois Pryce in General Birding

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