Rare Breeding Species & Winter Raptor Roosts

Please think very carefully before posting any information on the species in the following list, especially during the breeding season. Many are listed as Schedule 1 and receive full protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended by the Environmental Protection Act 1990). In addition there are other species listed which, while not Schedule 1, remain as rare or declining breeders in Devon or are listed by the Rare Breeding Bird Panel and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. If you do encounter one of these species and suspect breeding please submit your records to the County Recorder and the RSPB.

Some of these birds remain at their breeding sites through out the year, so even by posting a sighting outside the breeding season you may be inadvertently revealing a breeding location. In particular this includes Cirl Bunting, Crossbill, Kingfisher, Barn Owl, Goshawk, Peregrine, Cetti’s Warbler, Dartford Warbler and Woodlark. Please keep information on these species limited to well known sites (e.g. Broadsands for Cirl Bunting, Aylesbeare for Dartford Warbler) and obvious migrants.

Several of the species listed though are migrants and sightings away from current or potential breeding sites are ok to post, for example coastal and autumn Ring Ouzels, wintering waders and ducks, fly over migrating raptors.  But if you have any doubts and think there is a chance the bird may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post,but please submit your records to the County Recorder and the RSPB.

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of persecution are very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds.

The following species are the most likely encountered rare/scarce Devon breeders, those in bold are fully protected under Schedule 1.

Rare/Scarce Breeders

Gadwall Garganey Pochard Red Grouse
Quail Bittern Honey-buzzard Red Kite
Marsh Harrier Montagu’s Harrier Goshawk Merlin
Hobby Peregrine Stone-curlew Little Ringed Plover
Golden Plover Lapwing Dunlin Curlew
Common Sandpiper Barn Owl Long-eared Owl Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Kingfisher Red-backed Shrike Chough Firecrest
Bearded Tit Woodlark Cetti’s Warbler Dartford Warbler
Savi’s Warbler Ring Ouzel Nightingale Black Redstart
Yellow Wagtail Serin Common Crossbill Hawfinch
Cirl Bunting Wood Warbler

A rare breeding species can be added to this list without warning, so if you are fortunate enough to find one then please email the county recorder.

It is also an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young.

Outside of the breeding season, care should also be taken with raptor/owl roosts.  Please do not post details in particular of roosting Long-eared Owls or Hen Harriers (with the exception of the well watched Bursdon Moor site) as these species are prone to disturbance.

Other species and sightings may be removed from the blog if it is felt that broadcasting the news will have a negative effect on the birds welfare.