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Slender-billed Curlew, Druridge Bay now not accepted

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  • Slender-billed Curlew, Druridge Bay now not accepted

    The latest BBRC WIP file indicates that the Slender-billed Curlew at Druridge Bay in 1998 is now no longer deemed acceptable - http://www.bbrc.org.uk/main-informat...rk-in-progress. A really tough decision considering all of the discussion about the bird, but it also needs to be ratified by the BOURC.

    No doubt there will be even more....

    Brian S

    add link to photos on surfbirds: http://www.surfbirds.com/mb/Features...ed-curlew.html
    Last edited by Brian S; April 13th, 2012, 09:16 PM.

  • #2
    Tremendously sad in many ways.

    I could never get my head round the published evidence...in some pictures it looks very convincing, in others not at all.

    Comment


    • #3
      See Forktail's note on the other thread, apparently the 'not proven' is an error:

      Originally posted by forktail View Post
      The record is still in circulation. The NP was an error. An article in is preparation concerning the assessment process surrounding the record. Read into that whatever you like! I'm fairly sure people will draw one conclusion by deduction

      Edit: perhaps an expeditious 'official' statement on the genuine current status of the record (even if it is NP) would be useful before things get a little excitable?

      F.

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      • #4
        Like many, I was surprised when this bird was accepted, it would have been much easier to 'sideline' the sighting.

        It seems to have been the case over the ensuing years that there has been a considerable amount of 'sour grapes' over this sighting and the most noise regarding it's identity has been made by those who didn't see it.

        For the record, I did see it, wasn't sure what the heck it was, just knew it didn't look like I expected it to but I'm not a competetive lister so acceptance or not is secondary, seems we have probably lost another species from the planet.

        Andy
        Last edited by andyadcock; April 14th, 2012, 10:19 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Note the quoted retraction below from Nigel Hudson.

          "Slender-billed Curlew:
          I have to apologise before things go ridiculous. I did things in a bit of a hurry last night and that is a genuine error. It is still In Circulation. We do intend to write a full article on the very long assessment process, and I totally agree that any annoucemnts for such high-profile records should not be given simply by a spreadsheet on a web-site. As I have said before the WIP file is not the 'document of record' - that is the annual report in British Birds.
          I wonder now if I should continue with this WIP file as I have people asking for updates regularly, and yet to check 900+ records is too time consuming if I am to try to give an update say monthly.
          Sorry once again. I will put up a new version straight away. Nigel Hudson"

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          • #6
            Retraction noted - I was surprised - I may get the thread deleted...

            Brian S

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Brian S View Post
              I may get the thread deleted...
              I'd say leave it as lots of people will have seen reports of the 'NP' (e.g. like here) and may not have heard about the retraction. Maybe edit the lead post to add a note about the retraction there, to make it more conspicuous?

              Comment


              • #8
                You're probably right Michael.

                Unlike comments on BF, I don't want any reading into my OP that I have insider information on this record, I simply followed what had been put on the WIP file; I am merely the museum consultant and have no insight into the decisions of the BBRC. If it does get NPed then it will have to go to the BOURC as it is on the British list and will have to be removed OR sent back to BBRC...

                Brian S

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                • #9
                  I wasted my money spent 5 mins looking at and drove back to Wales !!!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Although Nigel published in haste, I believe the outcome will be the same and sensibly BBRC and BOURC will render the record as ''not proven''. Of course I did not see the bird in question (but did see its close relative next day when the shout went out and believe I did see this bird in future years at Breydon Water and elsewhere) and there will always be those that shout ''sour grapes'' but in my personal view, Slender-billed Curlew became extinct when I saw the last surviving individual at Merja Zerga (Morocco) in February 1995. How both Commiittees could accept such an incredulous UK record (of a first-summer) after such a short review period really amazed me, particularly when you consider how long it has taken to make decisions on the likes of Elegant Tern and the like. This was the most important record that both authorities were ever going to oversee and adjudicate upon and the implications of such an acceptance were huge.

                    All of the published evidence supports the identification as Eurasian Curlew and there is very little to indicate a Slender-billed Curlew in a hitherto undescribed first-summer-type plumage. Although for political reasons I largely followed the status quo at the time and also 'accepted' the record, discussions that followed with various members of the Dutch Rarities Committee following the decision worried me immensely and it soon became apparent that views and opinions of those with the most experience of the species were being ignored.

                    As we currently stand, the Northumberland first-summer Slender-billed Curlew is the last individual ever recorded on the planet !!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Slender-billed Curlews

                      Originally posted by LeeEvans View Post
                      Although Nigel published in haste, I believe the outcome will be the same and sensibly BBRC and BOURC will render the record as ''not proven''. Of course I did not see the bird in question (but did see its close relative next day when the shout went out and believe I did see this bird in future years at Breydon Water and elsewhere) and there will always be those that shout ''sour grapes'' but in my personal view, Slender-billed Curlew became extinct when I saw the last surviving individual at Merja Zerga (Morocco) in February 1995. How both Commiittees could accept such an incredulous UK record (of a first-summer) after such a short review period really amazed me, particularly when you consider how long it has taken to make decisions on the likes of Elegant Tern and the like. This was the most important record that both authorities were ever going to oversee and adjudicate upon and the implications of such an acceptance were huge.

                      All of the published evidence supports the identification as Eurasian Curlew and there is very little to indicate a Slender-billed Curlew in a hitherto undescribed first-summer-type plumage. Although for political reasons I largely followed the status quo at the time and also 'accepted' the record, discussions that followed with various members of the Dutch Rarities Committee following the decision worried me immensely and it soon became apparent that views and opinions of those with the most experience of the species were being ignored.

                      As we currently stand, the Northumberland first-summer Slender-billed Curlew is the last individual ever recorded on the planet !!
                      Hi there,
                      My late French colleague who worked in the USA and founded Bird Life International found a great site in Greece near the coast which is very remote a huge estuary site where there used to be many Slender-billed Curlews when I was young with Whimbrels which had different bills and not so black legs and were generally much darker with different wing markings and flight but were very jumpy and they thought at Bird Life International they must winter near Ethopia or on the central east coast of Africa as they still occur in the Sultanate of Oman where the French speaking ruler loves to encourage responsable birders to visit
                      as a definite Slender-billed Curlew was sighted there recently near the coast in an estaury system in a remote area and the members of the Sultanate of Omans enthusiastic team of naturalists like to ensure birders don't go there to disturb the birds in sensitive areas as even the residents get told off for disturbing all the rare birds there so there was a definite one there recently but transport is poor to get to good birding areas but birders are welcome by the Government and the Sultan himself likes to encourage ecotourists if they get permission to go to areas good for ecology often near the coast and don't disturb all the birds but getting around is difficult as the country is full of wildlife as it is often still very undeveloped thankfully. Greece still gets the odd record with one a few years ago photographed there in a huge remote area on passage and there can be runt Curlews which resemble them like the Druridge bay bird but in flight they are obviously marked on th wings with different markings including pale wings with dark ended primaries compared to the many Whimbrels and odd runt Curlews which can be variable like the many races of Whimbrel including the 'new' species hudsonicus with warm uniform buff underwings which I saw in Brittany a few years ago in the southern-western tip at the southern tip of the Baie d'Audierne where the Bee-eaters nest every year nearby at Pointe de la Torche and Lescors marsh to the west of Penfoulic at:-
                      http://www.penfoulic.com/ Pointe de Penmars is superb for watching cetaceans and seawatching in August near the lighthouse where I saw a Hudsonian Whimbrel in August Aquatic Warbler ringing a few years ago.
                      Kind regards,
                      bertram.E.B.BREE in sunny mild Jersey near Guernsey where a Black-browed Albatross was seen last weeek off the west coast.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Bertram

                        You obviously have great insider knowledge here, but i can't find any claims of Slender-billed Curlew in Oman more recently than 1999. Can you enlighten us further?

                        see post 5 here - http://www.surfbirds.com/forum/showt...-billed-curlew

                        Brian S

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Bertram

                          And more information on this too?

                          Greece still gets the odd record with one a few years ago photographed there in a huge remote area on passage
                          Russ Heselden

                          www.russheselden.co.uk

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                          • #14
                            Hi fellas,

                            I am sure all of these later records - including 5 in Hortobagy area of Hungary in 2002 are what we would label 'unverified'. As far as I am aware, the last two 'verified' records - and I'm not sure how much trust I'd put in them without seeing some very convincing evidence - are from Oman in Feb 1999 and August 1999, sandwiching a record from Greece in April 1999.
                            OBC John Peel Awesomeness
                            The little things they make me so happy, all I want to do is live by the sea...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Tim

                              I haven't got my SBC file to hand at present but I am sure I looked at these records you cited and found them to be incorrectly identified - or certainly not proven. I also remember a claim of a flock of 17 or 18 birds with photograph which were also misidentified and several other claims in more recent years relating to Eurasian or Orientalis Curlews. Bertram is correct in saying that the Evros Delta was once an excellent wintering site for SBC but this was decades ago - certainly within my formulative birding years post 1977. They also used to appear infrequently at a great place I used to visit - Porto Lagos in Greece - as well as a superb wetland site near Lefkimni (long since drained and made obsolete). The most memorable birds though were the regular flock wintering alongside the shanty town at Merja Zerga - often affording excellent views as they fed with Black-tailed Godwits in the wild flower-rich lakeside fields. A fading memory now and sadly, African Marsh Owl seems to be heading the same way.
                              Last edited by LeeEvans; June 4th, 2012, 12:42 AM.

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