RecordingDevon Birds Records Committee

The Devon Birds Records Committee (DBRC) is responsible for assessing descriptions of rare or unusual birds recorded in Devon to maintain a true and accurate archive record of the county’s avifauna. A record of a Devon A Rarity has to be approved by the committee for it to be included in the Annual report and database. The committee is also tasked with reviewing the Devon A and B lists regularly and considering the status and taxonomy issues relating to any Devon rarities.

Records will be accepted if a majority of the Committee agree that the evidence presented is adequate. The criteria used by the Committee are necessarily strict to maintain the credibility of the Annual Report and Devon Birds database. Records may be reviewed at a subsequent date if new information becomes available.

The DBRC comprises five elected members and the County Recorder as non-voting Chairman. Each elected member serves five years on the committee, and must have stood down for a year before being eligible for re-election. In exceptional circumstances a committee member may be invited to serve for an extra year on a majority vote of the committee.

When a vacancy arises, the committee or another member of Devon Birds shall nominate a member for the role. If there are more nominees than there are vacancies then an election shall take place through a postal ballot of members of the Devon Birds through any of its publication/information sources together with a curriculum vitae for each nominee. 

Committee members are always experienced and active ornithologists from Devon, who have a vast knowledge and experience of birds and birding in the UK and often abroad.

Current DBRC Members

Kevin Rylands (County Recorder and Chair)

Kevin has been bird watching for over thirty years, being based in Devon (and Dawlish Warren) since 1991. He spends much of his time on the Warren and runs www.dawlishwarren.co.uk for the local recording group. Birding highlights have included Long-billed Murrelet & Semi-palmated Plover, plus several other species new to many people's Devon lists. He has worked for the RSPB since 1998 primarily focusing on farmland species such as Stone-curlew, Chough, Red-backed Shrike and Cirl Bunting and he is currently the RSPB's SW Regional Conservation Adviser. Although not a global traveller, he has visited most of the UK searching for and twitching rare vagrants. Contact Kevin at recorder@devonbirds.org

Pete Aley

Pete has spent 34 years birding in Devon, with most of his time being spent on the Plym Estuary and Soar, and since 1980 has supplied Devon Birds with annual bird records. Pete really is part of the back bone of Devon birding, and is the reason many Devon birders have Desert Warbler on their county lists – this has to be his best find to date.  Pete’s also a well-respected figure in Cornwall birding and is a member of the Cornwall Birdwatching and Preservation Society, as he spends much time birding on the west side of the Tamar as well. It’s not just the south west that Pete’s experience is from, over the years he’s been on birding trips in a vast array of countries including; Nepal, Brazil, USA, Canada, Spain, France, Costa Rica, Thailand, Australia, Ireland, Kenya, Gambia, Greece, Austria and Egypt!

Chris Townend

Chris has been birding for over thirty years, being based in Devon for roughly half of this time. He spends most of his birding time now on his local patch – the River Otter, with last year’s Bonaparte’s Gull being his latest good find for this small Estuary.  Chris was employed by the RSPB for eight years, where he spent time working on Species Protection and managing the Cornish Cirl Bunting re-introduction project. He now works as an ornithological consultant and leads bird watching holidays through his own wildlife watching company. This takes him to many places across the world leading tours and seeing a huge variety of bird species.

Tim Jones

Tim is probably best known for being joint bird recorder for Lundy, and has for many years aided the Committee and County Recorders by collating information about rare bird sightings on the island. He co-wrote the book The Birds of Lundy, and has co-written and edited the Lundy Bird Reports since 2007. His knowledge of the island and the birding scene there would be a valuable asset to the Committee. When he’s not on Lundy, Tim spends most of his birding time on the North Devon coast, but has watched birds in many countries in all regions of the world, especially Central & Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and eastern North America. He has lived in Devon for 12 years, and before that spent seven years living in Switzerland. One of his best rare bird finds has to be his most recent; Devon’s third Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler on Lundy.

Tim Worfolk

Tim, who lives near to the River Exe in Topsham, has been birding for over 30 years, with his last 15 spent in Devon. Tim is a highly accomplished illustrator, whose work has featured in numerous publications across the world including the Handbook to Birds of the World, field guides for India, Sri Lanka, South East Asia and Borneo, with more in the pipe-line. His paper on the identification of Isabelline and Brown Shrikes published in Dutch Birding in 2000 is still the primary reference on the subject. Proir to joining the committee, for several years he has proved extremely helpful to the committee, especially regarding Gull identification (including detailing numerous presumed hybrids) and the identification of sinensis Cormorants.