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  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 - Daily exercise and 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 Bowling Green Marsh and 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

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  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all.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

Tuesday 23rd June 2020


 Just seen 40-50 swifts over Braunton above kingsacre area wow at 5.30

Posted June 23rd at 4:43 pm by Kevin Lymer in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake.

6 Blackcaps, 4 Willow warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs all in song, 1 Kingfisher, 10 adult Mallards with 15 juveniles, several Blue Tits, 2 Coal Tits, 2 Mute Swans, Rooks at the nearby rookery, Carrion Crows and 3 - 4 Jackdaws, 1 Blackbird, 3 Great Crested Grebes.

Harvey Kendall.

Posted June 23rd at 12:31 pm by Harvey Kendall in General Birding

North Devon

Late post.  Popped out on Sunday evening with my camera and captured these images. The Kestrel is a long distance recorder shot.

Barn Owl
Barn Owl

Grey Heron
Grey Heron


Posted June 23rd at 11:33 am by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Monday 22nd June 2020

Swift's day.

Today has been a day of swifts. Everywhere I have stopped to work and journeying in between, the most noticeable bird has been a swift. Two to five was the average number seen at each stop, well over 20 at the Roundswell roundabout on the A39 and even when I got home there were two or three feeding overhead. Lovely to see so many all over my area of North Devon. Obviously shows they are doing well this year.

Posted June 22nd at 5:17 pm by Robert Morgan in General Birding

Cann Quarry ~ Peregrines & Spotted Flycatchers

I collected one of this years Cann Quarry (Plymouth) Peregrines from a Plymouth vets this morning, I suspect the bird had collided with a wire fence close to the nest site and bruised one of its wings.

Can any one give me an idea of how long ago this brood may have fledged and left the nest and if they have remained in the vicinity of the nest site as I want to get the bird back to its parents as soon as possible.

Cancel the above request I have been able to obtain the info required.

Peregrine juvenile female


While watching them a pair of Spotted Flycatchers dropped into the tree to the front of the viewing area.

Posted June 22nd at 5:15 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Radford Lake 22-06-20

Med Gull flying over Radford Lake

Posted June 22nd at 5:06 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Dawlish Warren NNR

08:27 - 11:25

Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, GBBG, Cirl Bunting (2), Sandwich Tern (6+), Common Tern (2) and a lone dark bellied Brent Goose were the highlights for me.

Posted June 22nd at 2:51 pm by Paul Bray in General Birding

Preston, Paignton "moth"

The "moth" is a male large skipper butterfly - the black liine on the forewing identifies it as a male.

Posted June 22nd at 2:13 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Three Mediterranean Gulls (all 1st-summers) on this morning's high tide, together with my first returning Redshanks (12) & 8 Curlews. Also a pair of Spotted Flycatchers, juv Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Green Woodpeckers (including a juv), 23 Mandarin Ducks, Whitethroat, 5 Marbled Whites & 4 Roe Deer.

Posted June 22nd at 2:00 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Fernworthy reservoir 21st June 2020

Windy day up at fernworthy. At first bird hide, 2 redstarts nesting, a siskin in the coniferous forest and the highlight were 2 great crested grebes. Also present: 45 canada geese, 13 mallards, a chiffchaff calling and the usual lot.

Posted June 22nd at 1:03 pm by Henry Jones in General Birding

South Brent

A pair of Stonechats appears to have bred on enclosed farmland on the north side of Brent Hill this year, and has been suspected in the last few years. Habitat on Brent Hill itself looks more suitable, but there is no evidence that they breed there. The hedges below the hill are wide, up to 3 m across, and most border hay meadows. Adults have been present this year since early March, but the first newly fledged juvs not seen until 16 Jun. How unusual is it for Stonechats in Devon to breed on farmland inland? I would be interested to hear of any other instances on 

Probable stonechat breeding site below Brent Hill
Probable stonechat breeding site below Brent Hill

Stonechat juv  20 June
Stonechat juv 20 June

Posted June 22nd at 7:32 am by Peter Reay in General Birding

Sunday 21st June 2020

robin feeding wrens in Longdown

As above, last 2 days in my garden an adult robin feeding 2 young wrens who are perfectly capable of feeding themselves but are not too proud to beg and have suckered he/she into it.

Posted June 21st at 10:57 pm by j jones in General Birding


On Dartmoor this morning adult and juveniles of Stonechat and Wheatear.

House Martins, Swallow, Goldfinch, Linnet, Skylark, Meadow Pipits, Kestrel, Peregrine, Raven, Pied and Grey Wagtail.

Wheatear Juvenile

And an evening visitor back home at South Brent

Posted June 21st at 5:44 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Late report for Lower Tamar Lake

Yesterday at the Lake.

1 Common Sandpiper on the weir, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Willow Tit (one juvenile), 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Grey Heron, 3 Canada Geese plus 7 goslings, 2 Mute Swan, 1 Jay.

Posted June 21st at 12:08 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Marsh Tit

Just had my first record for the garden in 50+ years!!!!.On clovelly road Bideford Often wondered why we don't get them as big wood not so far away.Though thinking about it can't remember seeing them there either.

Posted June 21st at 10:23 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Wrafton pond

More from my day out.

Female Pintail
Female Pintail

Female Pintail
Female Pintail

Posted June 21st at 12:41 am by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Wrafton pond

Saturday afternoon, I took to my trotters and walked to the pond to see whether any visitors had popped in.  Some Moorhens all adults, some Coots all adults + one sitting on it nest, loads of Mallard a single Little Grebe and a single female Pintail.   Cetti's Warbler and Sedge Warbles calling and



Little Grebe
Little Grebe

Posted June 21st at 12:39 am by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Saturday 20th June 2020

Cann woods- Nightjars

Active evening on the 19th up at Cann woods, despite the gloom, once sun set the singing started, probably over a dozen we heard, had some land in the trees right near the path we stood on and sang, was quite a sight to behold, lots of fly bys around our heads, guessing both male and female flying around. Had some young tawny owls calling from the trees on our walk back to the car

Posted June 20th at 10:29 pm by Annabel Sharpe in General Birding

Cadover Bridge, Shaugh Lakes.

An early start to Cadover Bridge was rewarded with the sighting of a Goosander (f) with 3 Juveniles siting comfortably beside the river Plym just east of the bridge together with a single Common Sandpiper on the other side of the river, until disturbed by the influx a group of people and their dogs! Show over. Moved on to the Shaugh Lakes area, where there were many Reed Buntings (adjacent lead in road), Wheatears with juveniles, Stonechats', Linnets, Sand Martin's,Meadow Pipit's

Posted June 20th at 9:13 pm by Colin & Joyce Hannaford in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Blaxton Meadow tonight: Mediterranean Gulls (ad, 2 1st-s & 2 2nd-S) and Curlews (7) gradually increasing. Also 2 Linnets (unusual here) & the Whitethroat still singing away.

Posted June 20th at 9:08 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Exminster marshes

Small flock of Egyptian geese, 10 -12 flew downriver  towards Dawlish at 3.15. 4 settled outside Turf Locks pub until 3.30 then flew up river.

Posted June 20th at 8:26 pm by Jeff Hacon in General Birding

Lynton round up.

Young Whinchat all doing well,Cuckoo,Redpoll,Meadow pipits,Larks,WillowWarbler,Grey Wagtail and Stonechat.

Common Redpoll

Young Whinchat
Young Whinchat

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit

Posted June 20th at 4:35 pm by john elvin in General Birding

There is a Red Kite flying over Cadbury in Devon at this moment 20.06.20

This is the second time we have seen a Red Kite flying over Cadbury in Devon. The first time was a year ago. Anyone else seen one in Devon recently?

Posted June 20th at 2:20 pm by Peter Hill in General Birding

Friday 19th June 2020


Walked the forest tracks this morning. As is to be expected in late June, song levels much reduced, with Garden Warbler missing, but Willow Warbler, Mistle Thrush, Tree Pipit, Redpoll, Siskin, Linnet, Yellowhammer, Stonechat, Marsh Tit, Treecreeper, Nuthatch and the commoner Tits and Warblers all contributing their shares, with a highly mobile flock of c15 Crossbills chipping as well (definitely a good year for them). 

Posted June 19th at 9:03 pm by James Camden in General Birding


c50 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Kittiwakes and 2 Sandwich Terns on the beach, late afternoon.

Posted June 19th at 8:06 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Three Mediterranean Gulls on this afternoon’s high tide: adult, 2nd-s & 1st-s. Also Whitethroat, Shelduck with 4 ducklings & 2 Roe Deer.

Posted June 19th at 7:18 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Thursday 18th June 2020


First returning migrant on the scrape?  A drake Teal this morning. The bird song is becoming less obvious as the month progresses in the reserve, and the rain this morning put paid to any Butterfly/Dragonfly activity too. Grey Heron by the pond again - I hope it hasn't got it's eye on the remaining young Moorhens and Little Grebes! However, several small parties of mostly juvenile Blue and Great Tits buzzing about, as there were around my garden on the north edge of Braunton, along with a family of Pied Wagtails outside my bedroom window this morning.

Posted June 18th at 4:28 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Spotted Flycatcher ~ Dartington

Thanks to  Gary Boltons post of yesterday, at long I last managed to catch up with a confiding Spotted Flycatcher that I could photograph, as described by Gary the bird can be found in the entrance area to the main hall which is presently closed.

I didn't notice the pellet in the third image until I was going through the pictures.

Posted June 18th at 3:11 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Exmoor coast

Great to watch the (much bigger than I thought) seabird colony on the Exmoor coast yesterday. A cacophony of cackles from Guillemots and Razorbills intermixed with the cheerful cry of Kittiwakes . 40-50 kittiwake nests.

3 porpoise offshore (inc small calf)




Posted June 18th at 12:15 pm by Rupert Kirkwood in General Birding

Plymouth area

My first evidence this year, of succesful breeding by Green Woodpecker at the Plym Estuary this morning, with 2 juv's. Also at least 25 Stock Doves, Bullfinch, the singing Whitethroat still present, adult Mediterranean Gull, Shelduck now with just 4 ducklings & 21 adult Mandarin Ducks plus 2 small ducklings.

In Plymbridge Woods: adult Pergerine with 4 juv's at the nest site, Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Marsh Tits, Nuthatch with juv's, 4 Grey Wagtails and a Siskin.  

Posted June 18th at 11:21 am by Pete Aley in General Birding

Wednesday 17th June 2020

Steps Bridge

Family of Treecreepers actively feeding on the trees lining the bank. Otherwise very quiet,

Posted June 17th at 9:13 pm by JOHN PHILLIPS in General Birding

South Brent ~ Tawny owl

One of two Tawny owlets that are becoming daily visitors in the garden, initially food put out for them was ignored but over the last couple of days they have realised that it is an additional food source.

Also good if distant views of a Green Woodpecker this evening, male Siskin on the feeders.

Posted June 17th at 7:46 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Whitethroat again singing this afternoon; also adult Mediterranean Gull, Peregrine, 6 Roe Deer & 4 Marbled Whites.

Posted June 17th at 6:45 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dartington, Spotted Flycatcher

behind Roundhouse Cafe on Dartington estate, pair of spotted flycatchers attending nest in ivy around main door to courtyard, probably taking advantage of no visitors as main door is chained shut. 

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Posted June 17th at 6:13 pm by Gary Bolton in General Birding


43 Swifts over the area today - arriving or departing or just feeding?? Plus two very early Grey Wagtails in Soar Mill Valley.

Posted June 17th at 4:16 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Cuckoo and Swifts, Drewsteignton

While counting swifts over the village last night (16 June), a cuckoo flew over the churchyard and my garden heading south at 20.30hrs. Peak count of swifts at the time was approx 30 with many screaming parties and non-breeders checking out nest boxes. I have been intrigued by the late arrival of swifts at many locations in the county posted on this web site this season. Swifts first seen over Drewsteignton was two on 26 April, five on 27 April but due to wet and windy weather, all went quiet for a few days. Two seen on 2 May, three on 3 May, fourteen on 4 May with five seen entering various nest boxes on our thatched row of cottages. Up to twenty swifts frequently seen most sunny days over the last month but recently increased due to arrival of non breeders. Hatched young first heard 'twittering' last night and again this morning from two nest boxes and discarded eggshell found this morning under two others.

Posted June 17th at 10:44 am by Nick Dixon in General Birding

Tuesday 16th June 2020

Merrivale Quarry Area, Spotted Flycatcher

A brief encounter with a Spotted Flycatcher around Merrivale Quarry, just managed to a distant shot

Posted June 16th at 9:57 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Harleston by Slapton

Hobby over the garden today - first one for 3 years; also Grey Wagtail on garden pond, presumably an early failed breeder?

Posted June 16th at 6:15 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Swifts - Bovey Tracey

Having been confined to Bovey for much of lock-down something of a relief to see my first Swifts (2) this morning over the town. Swallows/House Martins still scarce.

Posted June 16th at 3:39 pm by John Walton in General Birding

Colebrook Siskin

This morning's downpour in Plympton was brightened by this juv Siskin on the feeder.  Haven't seen an adult here for some time so this was a welcome surprise.

Juv Siskin
Juv Siskin

Juv Siskin
Juv Siskin

Posted June 16th at 1:10 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Crossbil, Dawlish

8 Crossbill flew North over Oakland Park at 11.40am

Posted June 16th at 12:46 pm by paul barker in General Birding

Redstarts and Chaffinch at Deancombe

At Deancombe yesterday. Redstarts, Linnets, Chaffinches ,Ravens, Cuckoo, Skylarks, Meadow Pipits,Buzzards. 

Redstart, Chaffinch, Redstart
Redstart, Chaffinch, Redstart

Posted June 16th at 8:21 am by Bob Barrow in General Birding

Monday 15th June 2020

Stover lake

2 Great crested grebes out on the lake, and a Stock dove on the gournd under the bird feeders (along with a lot of squirrels). Plenty of common blue, azure, blue tailed, large red and red eyed damselflies (the red eyed difficult to see out on the floating algal mats). Dragonflies included emperor, golden ringed  and a skimmer sp.

Posted June 15th at 8:26 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Sharpham Marsh, Totnes.

Very vocal Reed Bunting. Two Mandarin ducks. Several Reed Warblers and Grey Heron. Stone Chat also in some meadow scrub nearby.

Posted June 15th at 6:56 pm by Tom Kent in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Adult Mediterranean Gull, Sparrowhawk, 23 Mandarin Ducks, 5 Marbled Whites & a Roe Deer.

Posted June 15th at 5:59 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Over the garden, this was what I originally thought was a Hobby.



Posted June 15th at 3:33 pm by Geoff Mitchell in General Birding


Around the garden

Blue Tit and Long Tailed Tit
Blue Tit and Long Tailed Tit

Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker

Hobby (Kestrel)
Hobby (Kestrel)

Posted June 15th at 3:30 pm by Geoff Mitchell in General Birding

Black Tor

Late post Sunday.Cuckoo

Posted June 15th at 11:05 am by Mave Goddard in General Birding

Tawny owlet ~ South Brent

Over the last couple of weeks or so I have been seeing Tawny owlets around the garden, one very small owlet was brought in by a neighbour after they found it in their garage, I had heard owlets calling a couple of evenings earlier.

Over this last week I have seen two owlets close to the house they seem to be attracted to the owlets that I am rearing, yesterday morning I saw one fly into an apple tree in my orchard where it spent the day and this morning one was sat on the rehab aviary before moving up into a tall hazel hedge.

This is the third year of confirmed breeding in the ten years that I have lived here.


Posted June 15th at 8:24 am by Steve Hopper in General Birding

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