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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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 by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Friday 27th March 2020

Home bird watch ~ South Brent

Another early wake up call around 5.30am thanks to the very vocal daily fly pasts from a number of Canada geese, Green Woodpecker calling but fortunately not as loudly, four LBBG's over today have been seeing this species passing over the house almost every day for the last 10 days or so.

Two Buzzards and a Raven overhead.

Female Bullfinch on the feeders, a new female House Sparrow showing a few white feathers turned up and Passer brentus the would be Italian Sparrow sp rocked up just before 3.30pm.

A walk around the house fields gave several pairs of birds on territories inc Great, Blue and Coal Tits, Chaffinch and displaying Greenfinch.

Spent part of the afternoon putting up some new nest boxes with luck something to take up residence.

A friend in Ivybridge rang to say he had a Chiffchaff and a female Blackcap in his garden.

Posted March 27th at 10:19 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Little egret

On my key worker drive to work, there was a little egret flying up the parkway in plymouth at 9am. Landed in a tree. Never seen an egret flying up this busy dual carriageway before.

Posted March 27th at 8:30 pm by David scott in General Birding

Red Kite

Red Kite seen today at Cofton near Dawlish Warren

Posted March 27th at 6:42 pm by C Lockton in General Birding

Garden birds

A pair of treecreepers and a pair of goldcrests have been visiting the garden in Tiverton over the last few days.


Posted March 27th at 4:42 pm by Richard Gowen in General Birding

Barnstaple Red Kite

Red Kite over Roundswell this afternoon at 13.45 being mobbed by gulls.

Posted March 27th at 3:38 pm by Dave Paterson in General Birding

Red kite

Red kite seen flying over my garden in Old Torrington Road Barnstaple at 2pm

Posted March 27th at 2:05 pm by brian sims in General Birding

Bovey River

I am very fortunate to live a couple of minutes walk from the river and to be able to exercise there.  Today and since the 25th I have been hearing a number of chiffchaffs singing.  Finally managed to see the blackcap that has also been singing since Wednesday.  There are a number of them along the river.  

Posted March 27th at 10:31 am by Margaret Harland in General Birding

Thursday 26th March 2020


Cuckoo heard this morning whilst out delivering shopping.

Posted March 26th at 1:43 pm by Charlie Imms in General Birding


Red kite 

Posted March 26th at 1:30 pm by Mrs Mavis Goddard in General Birding

Lynton on our exersise walk.

Flocks of about 30 Pied Wagtails and Stonechats mostly males.1 male Wheatear,Buzzard,1, Flock of Meadow Pipits,2 Goldcrest and 1 nesting Nuthatch.

Wheatear                                   Stonechat                                       Buzzard

Posted March 26th at 11:39 am by john elvin in General Birding

Wednesday 25th March 2020


Around and over the garden today

Pair of greater spotted woodpeckersGoldcrestLocal raven warning off local buzzard
Pair of greater spotted woodpeckers                      Goldcrest            Local raven warning off local buzzard

Posted March 25th at 11:39 pm by Geoff Mitchell in General Birding

Reeves Pheasant nr S Molton

Male Reeves Pheasant SS760257

Male Reeves PheasantMale Reeves Pheasant
Male Reeves Pheasant


Posted March 25th at 9:07 pm by Alan Ford in General Birding


Took our dog for her daily walk this afternoon also took my camera.  Walked up Tews Lane where a number (15-20) Starlings grabbed my attention. 


Posted March 25th at 9:05 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

House Martin over Dartmoor Garden

Had my first House Martin of the year high over the garden in Bridford Village on the edge of Dartmoor today.

House MartinHouse Martin
House Martin


Posted March 25th at 7:29 pm by Sam Gray in General Birding

At home in Braunton

Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming and a female on the peanuts too. Green Woodpecker calling off in the woods. Two Jays were nearby and the usual collection of Tits and a male Blackcap early on. Later on I added Brimstone to the garden and year list for Butterflies.

Posted March 25th at 5:44 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


Blackcap, Topsham

Posted March 25th at 1:47 pm by Lee Summersby in General Birding


At least 3 Red Kites high over the Village this lunchtime. 

Posted March 25th at 1:32 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding

Birdwatching is NOT essential travel at this time!

Can you please act responsibly and not encourage travelling by posting birds that are not from your immediate house location

Eds: Agreed - any posts were it is obvious the birder has driven to the site to birdwatch will be deleted until we all are given the clearance to go out again..

Posted March 25th at 12:24 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Rippon Tor

Late post for Tuesday 24th: 75 Golden Plover at the north end of Blackslade Mire just west of Rippon Tor. Many in smart breeding plumage and looking superb in the evening sunshine. 

Posted March 25th at 12:14 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

From a garden at Hope cove

Whilst working on my own in a garden at Hope cove, Stock doves, lots of wood pigeons and Jackdaws, a few chiffchaffs and singing dunnocks. Heard green woodpecker in the distance.

Wood pigeonStock doveJackdaw
Wood pigeon                      Stock dove                           Jackdaw

Posted March 25th at 5:56 am by Richie Moore in General Birding

Tuesday 24th March 2020

Birdwatching is NOT essential travel at this time!

Birdwatching is NOT essential travel at this time!
Leave a reply
Whilst birding can be good for exercise and mental wellbeing, we are taking the view that travelling ANYWHERE, even locally to see birds that others have found, cannot be encouraged at this time. It is non-essential travel and does not conform with current government guidance.

We will therefore not be publishing bird news until it is safe to travel. We encourage you to watch the birds in your garden and submit your sightings and data to the BTO’s Birdtrack scheme.

Could you please post this and not pictures of birders who  not conform with current government guidance.

Posted March 24th at 11:17 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding


Red Kite over garden early afternoon. Circling high, travelling west towards Plymouth. Five Buzzard also around, Meadow Pipit and 2 Siskin also over.

Posted March 24th at 6:53 pm by Chris E in General Birding

Red Crested Pochard at Wrafton Pond

Taken today at 4.30pm. Thanks to the earlier post for letting us know it had returned.

Posted March 24th at 6:35 pm by Amanda Duffin in General Birding

Dawlish Warren & South Brent

A just before sunrise visit to Dawlish Warren this morning gave 39 species including ~ LBBG, GBBG, Teal, Shelduck, 23 Greenfinch, GSWP, DB & LB Brent Geese, Stonechat, 26 plus Knot, 40 plus Linnet, 4 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 2 Sanderling, 26 plus Turnstone, 20 plus Skylark, 14 Dunnock, 23 plus Goldfinch, 199 Curlew (one ringed bird right leg, blue above knee, green over yellow below) one Whimbrel in with the Curlew, 5 Redshank, 1 Chiffchaff and 2 Song Thrush.

An early afternoon visit to a local farm on the edge of Dartmoor above South Brent to place some nest boxes, a brief bird watch gave 18 species including 3 Wren, 5 Stock Dove, 1 Marsh Tit, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Nuthatch, a pair of displaying and nest building Treecreeper,1 Song Thrush, a pair of Buzzard, 1 GSWP and 1 Raven.

Several Peacock butterflies and an unidentified type of eared bat that was flying around in the warm sunshine.

The Italian type Sparrow continues to frequent the garden feeders at home.


Posted March 24th at 5:12 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Harleston by Slapton

Superb raptor migration over 2 hours this pm, involving 38 Common Buzzards, discounting the resident pair who were very interested, leaving 36 migrating birds generally migrating high NE. Also first Swallow of the year.

Posted March 24th at 4:49 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

My daily exercise took me on my bike to Wrafton Pond this morning where there were no Sand Martins but one of the drake Red-crested Pochard has returned.

Posted March 24th at 1:57 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


First,  Wheatear (M), of the year, plenty of Skylarks, Raven, Buzzard and Meadow Pipits. 

Posted March 24th at 1:38 pm by Mave Goddard in General Birding

Monday 23rd March 2020

Holwell Down, Dartmoor

Dotterel on short grassy area by road  this evening til dusk at SX7368777567.

Dotterel                         Dotterel

Posted March 23rd at 8:12 pm by Rick Lockwood in General Birding

Roborough Down 23-03-20 Red Kite

On Roborough Down this afternoon a Red Kite flew towards Plymouth, distant shots

Posted March 23rd at 4:28 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding


Ringing in the reserve (the perfect place to self-isolate!) Produced of note: 1 Reed Bunting, 9 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, and a Willow Warbler - very long wing making it a male, which usually arrive first. Sadly it didn't sing. Only 3 or 4 Sand Martins over early on.

6 or 7 Peacock, 2 or 3 Small Tortoiseshell (one very scruffy) and a cracking Comma.

Posted March 23rd at 4:20 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Red Kite over Bideford

Red Kite at 12.57 p.m. flying S.E. then E.  Seen from my back garden GR SS 45063 26153  That's the GR of the viewpoint, not the bird.  Too slow off the mark with the camera, though.  Sorry.

Posted March 23rd at 4:02 pm by JOHN WARD in General Birding

Soar Mill Valley

17 Chiffchaffs in valley.

Posted March 23rd at 2:00 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Horsey Island

Sunday 13:00 hours  two Ringed Plover  also,three Redshank,Little Egrets and groups of Shelduck.Sand Martins over fields near The Great field.

Posted March 23rd at 11:28 am by Fiona Moffatt in General Birding

Sightings, 23 March

09.15.  Red Kite over Dawlish Warren. Cirl Buntings feeding in the new park. 

Posted March 23rd at 11:12 am by Chris Sumner in General Birding

Garden Bovey Tracey

Isolated but the birds are coming to me.  A female reed bunting on my sunflower heart feeder this am.  A first for my garden.  I wonder what else I will see now that my focus is just on my small patch.

Posted March 23rd at 9:45 am by Margaret Harland in General Birding

Sunday 22nd March 2020

Exeter Quay - Countesswear

Walked a loop down the river and up the canal early this morning.

Lots of song in the sunshine from the common passerines, with minor contributions from Dipper, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Grey Wagtail, Reed Bunting, Cetti's Warbler and Blackcap, I believe an over-wintering bird. The local Ravens were very vocal around sunrise; I assume that they, like the rest, have to tell their neighbours that they have survived the night. The Rooks at Matford, 80+ nests, added their few decibels. Approx. ten Sand Martins were feeding over the Countesswear ponds.

Non-passerine "song" came from all four Pigeon/Dove spp., Water Rail, Little Grebe and both Woodpeckers. 

Two each of Redshank and Green Sandpiper were feeding, silently, in the flood channels, and a handful of Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler remain at Matford.

Around 60 spp. in total by 09.30.

Posted March 22nd at 10:08 pm by James Camden in General Birding


After a few hours in the reserve pruning trees and being entertained by at least a dozen Chiffchaffs one of which was singing, I returned to the scrape early evening and reckon up to 100 Sand Martins but no Swallows among  them. Distant view of a female Marsh Harrier over Sherpa Marsh

Posted March 22nd at 9:59 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding


A Red Kite headed west up high mid morning. 

Had a walk around the Park this afternoon, a Firecrest, a pair of Goldcrest 8 Chiffchaff and a pair of obliging Grey Wagtails. 

Grey WagtailChiffchaff
                   Grey Wagtail                                           Chiffchaff

Posted March 22nd at 9:31 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding

Exe & Dartmoor

On the way up to the Exe estuary checked the sea off of Labrador Bay very choppy and discoloured no sign of any of the recently reported Scoter's, but two male Cirl Bunting in the hedgerow around the car park.

Cockwood a count of 31 Cattle Egret, Sparrow hawk passed over them pursued by three Carrion Crow and most of the Egrets moved off over the hill.

Two Red Legged Partridge in the field alongside the golf course (which looks as if it’s been sold off for housing development despite being an important winter bird habitat)

The Slavonian Grebe spotted feeding up towards Powderham.

Three Egyptian Geese, one up a tree at the Powderham heronry, 25 Curlew and 12 Shell duck and six plus Heron around the heronry.

Exminster Marshes arrived just in time to watch the passage of up to 100 Sand Martin passing over the marsh feeding and drinking, 21 Mute Swan, 12 plus Little Egret, two Heron, plenty of Shell duck, small number of Curlew, two Cetti’s Warbler, two Chiffchaff, several Skylark, Water Rail calling almost constantly and a pair of Reed Bunting displaying and chasing.

Walked the Glazebrook onto Dartmoor from Owley this afternoon, very different from yesterday morning's walk, for an isolated spot surprising how many people were self-isolating up there, but twenty species recorded, in addition to yesterday’s post three Fieldfare, two LBBG, fourteen Stonechat, none seen yesterday.

A count of 48 Meadow Pipits, nine Skylark, six Buzzard, three Stock Dove, twenty two Carrion Crow and two Raven.

Posted March 22nd at 8:30 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

South Huish marsh and South Milton ley

On South Huish marsh, Ruff, cattle egret, redshank, 2 Black-tailed godwits, 2 Wheatear and 2 Avocet, at South Milton 2 snipe, 4 buzzard several singing chiffchaff and a nice reed bunting

Avocet                            Ruff                                   Buzzard

Posted March 22nd at 8:00 pm by Richie Moore in General Birding

Red Kite over Honiton

Red Kite over Honiton garden around 3 pm.

Posted March 22nd at 7:58 pm by Audrey Wolstenholme in General Birding

Red Kite & Golden Plovers

High flying Red Kite over Ilsington at around 4pm - seen in the distance but fortunately headed our way and flew over us. Heading north. Also at home in Ilsington a flock of c120 Golden Plover wheeling around for half an hour or so over the valley behind our house. Watched from our patio! Also 2 Green Woodpeckers, 5 Chiffchaffs singing along walk to Liverton plus 2 Mistle Thrushes. 1 Brimstone in our garden.

Posted March 22nd at 6:02 pm by Steve Hearn in General Birding

Red Kite

Red Kite over Paignton  at,drifting north being harassed by gulls.

Posted March 22nd at 3:54 pm by Tony Sherwood in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Around the Plym Estuary this morning and a wander around Saltram produced the following.

Greenshank 4, Curlew 12, Redshank 99, Dunlin 2, Avocet 1 on Blaxton Meadow, Black Tailed Godwit 2, Oystercatcher 4, Common Gull 13,, Little Egret 6, Redwing 8 and Wheatear 1.

Posted March 22nd at 1:45 pm by Martin Phillips in General Birding


Female Black Redstart seen by Dave Paul at 7.15 and still there at 9.15. On rocks between bridge and first dog bins.

Posted March 22nd at 9:40 am by Roger Doble in General Birding


Out on the sandbanks were GBBG, Shelduck, Cormorant, Oyster Catcher, A gull smaller that a Herring gull with a dark bill and a black band around and along the Tarka track were a good number of Linnets.

Shelduck? GullLinnet
 Shelduck                  ? Gull Eds: Common Gull 1st winter                       Linnet

Posted March 22nd at 12:49 am by Martin Bennett in General Birding


Fremington Pill - Ruffs, Greenshank, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Common Sandpipe, Teal, Wigeon, Little Egrets, Curlew and Shelduck. No sign of the Glossy Ibis or the Kingfisher.

Ruff and RedshankCommon SandpiperGreenshank
Ruff and Redshank                  Common Sandpiper                         Greenshank

Posted March 22nd at 12:42 am by Martin Bennett in General Birding

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