General Birding

2019 Descriptions - last call

The deadline for the 2019 Bird Report is rapidly approaching. If you found (or saw) any of these birds please could you submit a description to to ensure your records are published. Many thanks. 

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 - Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Dawlish Warren are closed until further notice. 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


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 29th February 2020


The Bar-tailed Godwit

Posted February 29th at 10:07 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding


Moving on to Fremington I saw Teal, Redshank, Greenshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, Little Egret and the Glossy Ibis. 

RedshankGlossy Ibis
Redshank                             Glossy Ibis

Posted February 29th at 10:03 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Wrafton pond

Early this afternoon around Wrafton pond were two Kingfishers,  f/Goldeneye, m/Pochard and m/Red-crested Pochard.

Male Red-crested PochardCormorantMale Pochard
Male Red-crested Pochard                    Cormorant                                     Male Pochard

Posted February 29th at 9:54 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

River yealm

Went for a walk where the river yealm meets the estuary and saw the regular waders, gulls and ducks.There was a green and red shank that seemed inseparable and a flock 50-60 widgeon.

Posted February 29th at 9:29 pm by Andy Quest in General Birding

Wrafton Pond North Devon

 (m) Red-crested Pochard, (f) Goldeneye and (m) Pochard on Wrafton Pond late this afternoon. 

Red-crested PochardGoldeneyePochard
Red-crested Pochard                              Goldeneye                                           Pochard

Posted February 29th at 6:42 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Matford marsh, Exeter.

Late afternoon:

2 Green sandpiper, 1 Tufted duck, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Mute swan,several Teal,Wigeon,Shoveler,Coot,Cormorant, on the pond.

Posted February 29th at 6:34 pm by Alan Livsey in General Birding

Plym Estuary

On the Plym Estuary this morning dodging all the debris flowing down were the following.

9 Goosander (4m & 5f), 5 Red-breasted Mergansers (2m & 3f), 107 Dunlin, 158 Redshank, 41 Turnstone, 6 Greenshank, 44 Curlew, 7 Little Grebe and 40 Shelduck.

Posted February 29th at 2:42 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding

Friday 28th February 2020


 found sheltering in the beech hedge of the garden this morning.  I briefly saw it a couple of days ago by the pond.

Water RailWater Rail
Water Rail


Posted February 28th at 4:44 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding


Looked in on Wrafton Pond this morning and saw the two drake Pochard and the female Goldeneye. Also, a bit surprised to see a drake Red-crested Pochard, I looked for the other two, but couldn't find them. In the reserve, a Buzzard again, but no repeat of yesterday's Kingfisher. 17 Teal out on the scrape and 3 Little Egrets nearby.

Posted February 28th at 1:45 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Thursday 27th February 2020

Stover Lake

A couple of hours walking around Stover lake today and I was able to take a few lovely photos.

Male Tufted DuckGreat TitMandarin Duck
Male Tufted Duck                                      Great Tit                                     Mandarin Duck

Posted February 27th at 10:57 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

South Huish Marsh

Photo to accompany previous post

Common Snipe _South Huish Marsh - 27.02.2020
Common Snipe _South Huish Marsh - 27.02.2020

Posted February 27th at 7:16 pm by Dave Pakes in General Birding

Braunton North Devon

A quick look around this patch this afternoon proved productive with 2 Male Pochard and 4 Snipe on Wrafton Pond. 250+ Golden Plover on the great field, a hunting Barn Owl over the same area and the highlight was a male Merlin over Braunton marsh. 20+ Redshank on the Caen Estuary and 4 Little Grebe. 

Posted February 27th at 6:58 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

South Huish Marsh

Amusing, but slightly sad, to see this ill-equipped, Common Snipe trying to land and perch on a fence at South Huish Marsh this afternoon. Local guru Mike P on his informative Thurlestone Bay website has correctly renamed the Marsh as South Huish Lake! It would appear there is a problem with the now submerged outflow, leaving little, if any, reedbed. exposed for the likes of snipe! All the usual birds, as per Mike's website, present including Sparrow Hawk, Kestrel and Buzzard and a nice pair of feeding Stonechat.

Posted February 27th at 6:09 pm by Dave Pakes in General Birding

Lynton and Lynmouth

Dippers interested in nest sights,pair of Grey Wagtails,pair of Chiffchaff.Spring is springing.

          ChiffchaffDipperGrey Wagtail
                      Chiffchaff                  Dipper                                                      Grey Wagtail

Posted February 27th at 4:58 pm by john elvin in General Birding


Singing male Chiffchaff at Turf Locks 13:00 today.

Posted February 27th at 2:18 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding

Velator reserve

The river was running very brown again this morning, and it will probably be the same tomorrow. However it did help to bring the bird of the day into the reserve - A Kingfisher flew across the pond and landed on a perch I had put there by accident recently. It was only when I looked at it later on that I realised it would be perfect for a Kingfisher - this one duly smacked the tiny fish it was carrying a few times before it headed off. Also present: Buzzard, 5 Redwing,1 Song Thrush, most of the usual suspects plus calling Tawny Owl and Cetti's Warbler.

Nearby on Wrafton Pond, 2 drake Pochard.

Posted February 27th at 2:07 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


28 Cirl Buntings, 5 Yellowhammers & 1 Reed Bunting  on seed in 2nd car park at Broadsands this mornig.

Posted February 27th at 12:55 pm by Mike Langman in General Birding

Wednesday 26th February 2020

Hope cove.

Sat on a bench for lunch at Hope cove, really windy. Lots of herring gulls, a couple of ravens passed several times, a kestrel and a few stock doves. Grey seals quite close in on most days.

Herring GullJackdawRaven
Herring Gull                                 Jackdaw                                               Raven

Posted February 26th at 7:54 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Finches near Cator Court

c25 Brambling among c250 Chaffinch feeding under beech trees just west of Cator Court (at SX676772) at 12.30pm (26 Feb)

Posted February 26th at 4:29 pm by Colin Brooks in General Birding


No rain this morning - and despite the strong wind a ringed Chiffchaff was finding something along the margins of the pond. a Buzzard flew out from the eastern trees. 7 Canada Geese  and a pair of Gadwall on the pond. A pair of Bullfinches on a peanut feeder. A Little Egret out on the scrape where there were also a few Meadow Pipits, which reminds me - there was a Water Pipit in the field outside the gates yesterday.

Posted February 26th at 1:19 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Tuesday 25th February 2020

exmouth ringneck parakeet

mear valley exmouth 9 ringneck parakeet

Posted February 25th at 9:22 pm by barry insull in General Birding

Taw Estuary

Single Spoonbill foraging on the estuary late afternoon.

The Wigeon are feeding up ready for their departure to their breeding grounds in the spring.


Posted February 25th at 6:42 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Upper and Lower Tamar Lake

The Lower Lake this morning.

36 Goosander 07:15

Upper Lake.

4 Ring-necked Duck 3m 1f, 8 Great Crested Grebe, 56 Canada, 1m Tufted Duck, 11 Mallard, 3 Cormorants, 27 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Posted February 25th at 1:19 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Underwood, Plympton

The Black Redstart is still making daily visits to our garden and to the south side of the turning circle at the end of Hill Close, but only in the mornings up to c.13:00 hours.

Posted February 25th at 8:57 am by Jason Smart in General Birding

Monday 24th February 2020


A rather sad looking Chiffchaff was hunting insects in the reserve this morning. Heard it call but no song yet - not surprised really.  3 Little Egrets out in the surrounding fields.

Water levels making it easy to produce a slippery mud bath everywhere.

Forgot to mention that a Water Rail was singing in the reserve yesterday - NOT just the squeal!

Posted February 24th at 7:20 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Crossbills and Bramblings at Haldon

20+ bramblings amongst a large mixed flock foraging alongside the Chudleigh (Old Exeter) road from Haldon car-park this afternoon, including a couple of almost full summer plumage males. Also a group of c10 crossbills flew into bare trees generally south of the car park.

Posted February 24th at 3:56 pm by Mark Brandon in General Birding

East Devon Branch AGM

Further to my recent post concerning the East Devon Branch indoor meeting and AGM I must apologise for giving the incorrect information.  The meeting will be held at 19.30 on THURSDAY 5 March and not as I stated 'Monday' 5th!  Thanks.

Posted February 24th at 2:20 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Roadford Lake

Scaup seen from the hide this afternoon. No sign of the snow goose or barnacle goose. Several male and female goldeneye viewed from the road looking north to the end of the reservoir. 

Posted February 24th at 7:35 am by Chris Baines in General Birding

Sunday 23rd February 2020

Wrafton pond

In the short spells between each group of children who came down to the pond to feed  the ducks and gulls I managed to capture some photos of male Pochard, female Goldeneye, Gadwall and some Snipe.

M/F GadwallTwo of the three Male Pochard that were on the pond on SundayTwo of six Snipe
M/F Gadwall                                 Two  Male Pochard                             Two of six Snipe

Posted February 23rd at 11:26 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Willand + Broadhembury

River Culm, Willand: 70 little egret, 3 cattle egret, in large field before Bradfield corner, 4.00-4.15pm.

North Hill, Broadhembury: flock of c.170-200 linnet by gorse patch at edge of Gliding Club field, 5.00pm.  

Posted February 23rd at 10:05 pm by James Morrison in General Birding

stuartline birding Cruise 23rd February 2020

Yet another great Cruise this afternoon with several highlights unfolding as we made our way up towards Topsham. Everyone was invited to find the Slavonian Grebe around the Cockwood area but the bird was found further towards Starcross where it was fishing with a pair of Red Breasted Mergansers a pair of Great Crested Grebe and two female and a male Golden Eye, what a great little sighting. Several Turnstone has also been seen is this area during the last couple of cruises but today the visitors were treated to 120+ Turnstone feeding together a little further north. 6 Greenshank were seen together near the River Kenn. Several Grey Heron were seen at their nesting site on Powderham Estate and the first of the Avocets were seen near the Clyst confluence. Good numbers of Curlew were seen throughout. Another highlight for the visitors, Bar-tailed Godwits were in very good numbers with at least 150+ seen close to the boat in two groups. Great Crested Grebe were seen in both winter and summer plumage. The confirmed Common Seal was on a sandbar near the Clyst confluence and Black-tailed Godwits were first seen in good number with over 300+ and seen all along the channel to Topsham. In the fields at Powderham Marsh 300+ Dark Bellied Brent Geese were seen feeding and on the estuary mud both sides of the channel were good numbers of Dunlin, Knot and Grey Plover. Always fantastic to see the smart little Sanderling, 6+ was seen opposite Turf Lock. On the Exminster side of the channel 300+ Golden Plover were seen roosting. As we entered Topsham waters good numbers of Redshank and again a few Teal were seen on the edge of the river. The final highlight was 100+ Black-tailed Godwit several in their breeding plumage flew very close the boat which is always a privilege to see.

120+ TurnstoneSanderlingBar-tailed Godwit
120+ Turnstone                                   Sanderling                              Bar-tailed Godwit

Posted February 23rd at 7:13 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Exe Estuary, Topsham

Along the Exe Estuary at Topsham this afternoon, three Goldeneye (2M&1F) two pairs of Red Breasted Merganser, a pair of Black Swan, numerous Redshank and a few Curlew.

Posted February 23rd at 6:42 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Woodbury fort

A male brambling amongst the skittish mobile chaffinch flock inside the fort.

Posted February 23rd at 6:34 pm by Dave scott in General Birding

Exe Estuary cruise 22 February

The Slavonian Grebe was close to 3 Goldeneye (1 drake) and several Red-breasted Mergansers and Great Crested Grebes off Cockwood. Several Greenshanks and Avocets were around Powderham and 30+ Pintail off Lympstone. Masses of Black-tailed Godwits (some getting breeding plumage) and 15 Ringed Plovers were on the mud at Turf, and c800 Golden Plover roosting nearby. Grey Plovers, Knots and a surprising number of Sanderlings (10-15?) were seen on the way to Topsham, with masses of Dunlin, Redshank and both godwits and a fair scattering of Avocets (100+?) for good measure. A Harbour Seal was hauled out near Lympstone and a Grey Seal likewise off Dawlish Warren.

Posted February 23rd at 11:17 am by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Saturday 22nd February 2020

Freminton Pill

Today is a first for me, a or the Fremington Glossy Ibis roosting with six Little Egrets in a tree at the head of the Pill. Poor quality photo taken in heavy drizzle. Glossy Ibis in bottom left corner of the photo.

Little Egret and Glossy Ibis
Little Egret and Glossy Ibis

Posted February 22nd at 9:06 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Plymouth Parakeets

From 5.25pm this evening 45 plus Ring Necked Parakeets flew into their roost trees along Saltash Road opposite the station car park-much to the delight of some football fans after the Argyle match today. One blue morph seen plus hybrids.

Posted February 22nd at 7:24 pm by Tony Marchese in General Birding


Arriving at Crow point mid morning there were a number of curlew in the fields,  and a kestral on the hunt. Along the shoreline there were dunlin, oystercatchers, cormorant shelduck and a redshank. As it was low tide in the centre of the estuary were a couple of little egret. 

Curlew                              redshank                                                         Kestrel

Posted February 22nd at 5:42 pm by Philip worth in General Birding


Synchronised Goosander roost count at dawn on 21 Feb at five Dartmoor reservoirs produced a total of 55 (including 22 ad males). This was slightly up on previous totals this winter, but reflects a decline in the number now roosting on Dartmoor reservoirs which peaked at 119 in 2010/11. The 55 comprised 24 at Avon Dam, four at Burrator and Meldon, 11 at Fernworthy and 12 at Venford. All gone by 0730. Earlier in the month, 125 were found roosting on non-Dartmoor sites.

Posted February 22nd at 9:57 am by Peter Reay in General Birding

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