The Birds of Lundy

By Tim Davis and Tim Jones

Situated 10 miles off the North Devon coast and lying across the entrance to the Bristol Channel, Lundy rivals Fair Isle and the Isles of Scilly as one of THE places to watch spring and autumn migrants in Britain. Famed for its Puffins, which still breed there – nowadays in growing numbers – Lundy is a magnet for migrating birds and birdwatchers alike, as well as one of the most important seabird islands in English waters.

This book documents the birds of Lundy from the earliest fragments of historical information, through the first more detailed accounts of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to the formation of the Lundy Field Society (LFS) in 1946 and the instigation of regular ornithological recording that continues to this day.

The opening chapters provide background and context, with a brief description of the island and the history of human habitation and land use that has produced the mosaic of natural, semi-natural and entirely manmade habitats to be found on the island today and which is partly responsible for the sheer diversity of Lundy’s birds. A brief history of ornithology and bird conservation on the island is given, including an indication of what birds to expect – or hope for – at various times of year, and some hints on some of the most promising places to look for birds when visiting Lundy. Four suggested routes of varying distance are offered to assist those new to the island and keen to make the most of limited time, particularly if on a day trip.

The Systematic List of birds recorded on the island constitutes the heart of the book. It gives a detailed account of all 317 species on the ‘Lundy list’ (as of 2007), along with notes on another 36 species that have been reported from the island and surrounding waters (three, Dipper, Pomarine Skua and Black Guillemot, have since been added to the full list). Each text includes the species’ status, pattern of occurrence, historical records and unique anecdotal insights, as well as an analysis of ringing movements.

The species accounts are based largely on a compilation and analysis of information contained in the daily logbook maintained on Lundy by the LFS since 1969 and the 59 published LFS Annual Reports covering the years 1947 to 2005. In addition, all records contained in the 2006 LFS logbook, plus records up to August 2007 are included.

Published in September 2007 by Harpers Mill Publishing for Devon Birdwatching & Preservation Society (DBWPS, now simply Devon Birds) and Lundy Field Society (LFS), the book contains 319 pages. In addition to a colour map of the island and 20 colour photographs of Lundy’s principal bird habitats and landscapes, the Systematic List features 105 line drawings by Devon wildlife artist, Mike Langman. Former Lundy warden and internationally renowned ornithologist Hugh Boyd contributed the Foreword.

Proceeds from sales of the book have funded bird research and conservation work on Lundy (see Home page).

Shag by Mike Langman from The Birds of Lundy


For the latest sightings and photos of birds on Lundy visit the
Lundy Bird Observatory website