David Price first surveyed seabirds on Lundy with Martin Davies in 1981, with their join work continuing in 1982 and 1986. Since then David, with Peter Slader, have organised complete counts of the island's cliff nesting seabirds in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2013 before handling over to Helen Booker and Tim Frayling in 2017. Over the years many volunteers have helped with these counts. This work was one of the factors which led to the RSPB-led Seabird Recovery Project on Lundy.
During the Seabird Recovery Project, David organised surveys of Manx Shearwater burrows with Helen Booker of the RSPB. He also collaborated with Tony Taylor to capture and ring Manx Shearwater chicks when they leave their burrows in early Autumn.
David was one of the people who inspired me to continue my Guillemot studies on Lundy.
"As is often the case, my interest in natural history, and ultimately birds, was sparked when I was 11 years old by my primary school teacher, Miss Alcott. After we had finished exams in the summer she charged us pupils with going out in the countryside and finding 20 wild flowers, identifying them, pressing them and bringing them into school. I tackled this with appropriate diligence and was totally captivated by the amazing array of flowers I encountered. I carried on with this new found pursuit over subsequent months, but when winter came and flowers were in short supply, I needed to look for another focus to satisfy my curiosity – and so turned to studying birds. This was a significant milestone in my life, as since then birds have been a major interest, (perhaps even obsession!), and have provided some of the most rewarding and outstanding experiences in my life, and introduced me to a whole range of worthy, knowledgeable and delightful people ."
"My main interest with birds has been in population and migration studies, which has taken me all over the world. Martin Davies was obviously a major influence (and inspiration) in triggering all my Lundy activities. However, locally, in addition to Lundy, my birding activities in Devon have included annual breeding bird monitoring at Dunsford Wood over the last 40 years, with particular focus on Pied Flycatchers. For 30 years I organised wader and wildfowl studies on the Exe Estuary associated with the BTO Wetland Birds Survey, and am still actively involved with detailed on-going surveys. Dartmoor has been a major focus for bird monitoring, with detailed studies for RSPB and DNPA of breeding Dunlin, Snipe and Ring Ouzels. In addition I've been bird ringing since 1992 and this activity has been key in supporting many of the studies I've undertaken."
"Whilst birding activities have absorbed me personally for many years, and have led me (and my late wife, Elisabeth) to all sorts of interesting places world-wide, one of the most rewarding aspects of this all embracing interest has been to share wildlife experiences with people and to enthuse others to look at the amazing world of nature in a more perceptive and enquiring way."
PiedFly.Net is a science based non-profit organisation co-ordinating community participation in monitoring Pied Flycatchers and other hole-nesting woodland birds to contribute to science and monitoring projects.
The network co-ordinates monitoring of nest box schemes with breeding populations of Pied Flycatchers across southwest England. Previously only a small number of these nest box schemes contributed data to national monitoring programs, but since 2011 the network has brought all this information together to share with national schemes and the scientific community.
Articles about David's work on Lundy can be found by searching for his name in the Lundy Field Society bibliography:
Helen Booker, David Price, Peter Slader, Tim Frayling, Tom Williams & Mark Bolton. 2019
Seabird recovery on Lundy: population change in Manx Shearwaters and other seabirds in response to the eradication of rats. British Birds, 112, 217-230.
Abstract Lundy once supported large numbers of breeding seabirds, but declines during the twentieth century left the island with only remnants of its former colonies. One major concern during this time was the impact of rat predation on eggs and chicks, especially of burrow-nesting Manx Shearwaters Puffinus puffinus and Puffins Fratercula arctica. A major project to eradicate rats from Lundy was completed in the spring of 2004. This paper examines the latest Manx Shearwater survey and how the species has responded since rats were eradicated, and sets this into the context of how the overall status of seabirds on Lundy has changed over the last 15 years.
Helen Booker, Senior Conservation Officer for RSPB in South West England said: “This study clearly shows how quickly and positively seabirds respond to the removal of non-native predators. Of course, we had anticipated major population increases when the project was launched, but the scale of this recovery has far exceeded our expectations... The partners are grateful for all the support we’ve had over the years from a huge team of volunteers without which both the work to eradicate the rats and our knowledge of the seabirds’ recovery simply would not have been possible”.
Helen Booker and David Price. 2014
Manx shearwater recovery on Lundy: Population and distribution change from 2001 to 2013. Journal of the Lundy Field Society, 4, 105--116. View online.
David Price, Peter Slader and Helen Booker. 2013
Breeding Cliff-nesting Seabirds 2013. Annual Report of the Lundy Field Society, 63, 85--92. View online.
David Price. 2013
Manx Shearwatering Ringing: A Diary. Annual Report of the Lundy Field Society, 62, 65--70.
Andy Brown, David Price, Peter Slader, Helen Booker, Leigh lock and Deborah Deveney 2011
Seabirds on Lundy: their current status, recent history and prospects for the restoration of a once-important bird area. British Birds
Abstract Once host to some exceptionally important seabird colonies, the island of Lundy, in the Bristol Channel, lost much of its special seabird interest during the twentieth century. However, the eradication of rats (significant predators of seabirds on islands throughout the world) from Lundy in 2003-04 may pave the way for a return of the island’s once-flourishing colonies. This paper sets out, for the record, what is known of seabird population changes on Lundy. While it is too early to formally recognise the start of recovery, we identify some very encouraging signs that the recent eradication has been effective and that the island once again provides conditions in which seabirds are able to flourish.
Guillemots on Lundy (photo Grant Sherman)
Helen Booker and David Price. 2010
Manx Shearwaters on Lundy: A study of population and distribution change from 2001 to 2008. Journal of the Lundy Field Society, 2, 105--112. View online.
Helen Booker, David Price and Tony Taylor. 2008
Manx shearwater breeding success on Lundy 2007. Journal of the Lundy Field Society, 1, 47--56. View online.
Price, DJ. 2004
Lundy Seabirds, Gulls and Oystercatchers. unpublished report.
D. Price and H. Booker. 2000
Manx Shearwaters on Lundy. Annual Report of the Lundy Field Society, 51, 95--103. View online.
Price, DJ Undated. 1996
Site Register: Lundy census of breeding birds 1981--1996. unpublished report
David Price. 1996
Surveys of breeding seabirds on Lundy 1981-1996. Annual Report of the Lundy Field Society, 47, 28--35. View online. [original entry by Chris Webster, 19/06/2011]
Price, DJ. 1996
Lundy -- Breeding Seabirds: Population Trends and Distribution 1939--1996 (Auks, Kittiwakes, Fulmars and Shags). privately published.
Davies, M and Price, D. 1986
1986 Lundy: census of breeding seabirds (1981, 1982, 1986). Unpublished report.