A group of birdwatchers have been fined after breaking lockdown rules to see a rare mockingbird in the wild.

Twitcher Chris Biddle spotted a northern mockingbird in his garden, the first sighting of the bird in the UK for more than 30 years.

He shared posted the news on Twitter, prompting a flurry of excitement from enthusiasts who rushed to Exmouth, Devon, from across the country to see it for themselves.

But Devon and Cornwall Police say five people have now been fined for breaching Covid rules by travelling out of their area to try and catch a glimpse of it.

It is thought to be only the third British record of the bird, normally found in North America, and the first for more than 30 years.

The force said it was contacted on the morning of Saturday 13 February.

A spokesperson said: "It was reported that a number of individuals, suspected to have travelled from outside the area, were trying to photograph a rare bird which had been seen in a garden."

Fines were issued to five people for breaching the regulations, it added.

The grey, long-tailed northern mockingbird is known for its mimicking ability, and is found in southern Canada, across the US, Mexico and the northern Caribbean.

The sighting of the bird came after two accepted sightings in the UK in the 1980s, at Saltash in Cornwall in 1982, and at Horsey Island, Essex, six years later, experts at BirdGuides said.