British Birds November 2010
The November issue of British Birds is now out and contains the following:
Conservation Priority Species: northwest European Bewick’s Swans, a population in decline
Whereas most European swan and goose population trends are currently stable or increasing, the northwest European Bewick’s Swan population is of conservation concern because its numbers are in decline. Here, Eileen Rees and Jan Beekman show that although numbers rose during the 1960s–1990s, a co-ordinated international census in January 2005 recorded a total of c. 21,500 birds, a 27% decrease on the peak count of 29,277 in January 1995. National trends suggest that numbers have continued to decline since then. A workshop in St Petersburg in September 2009 attempted to identify major threats to Bewick’s Swans and to develop the monitoring, research and conservation work required to halt and reverse the population decline. No single issue could explain the decline and the combination of factors (including weather and habitat changes) affecting the swans’ survival and productivity needs to be examined further. A Single Species Action Plan is due to be finalised and sent for government consultation by the end of 2010, in preparation for adoption and implementation.
Brown Flycatcher on Fair Isle: new to Britain
Paul Harvey recounts the story of how a Brown Flycatcher was found and trapped on Fair Isle on 1st July 1992. It remained on the island the following day but was not seen thereafter. The identification was accepted by BBRC and BOURC. Owing to doubts that it had occurred in a wild state, BOURC originally placed the record into Category D, which forms an Appendix to the British List. Following further British records of the species in 2007 (in Yorkshire) and 2008 (on Fair Isle), BOURC reviewed the first Fair Isle bird, which was accepted as the first British record, and placed all three individuals into Category A of the British List.
Brown, Siberian and Grey-streaked Flycatchers: identification and ageing
In the light of recent records of Brown Flycatcher in Britain, Paul Leader looks at the identification and ageing of this species and two closely related potential vagrants from east Asia: Siberian (or Dark-sided) Flycatcher and Grey-streaked Flycatcher. Differences in structure and plumage are summarised, and particular attention is paid to ageing and moult. This paper takes advantage of the advances of digital photography to bring together a stunning portfolio of images of the three species.
Letters and notes…
… include a debate on the authenticity of a historical record of Hawk Owl in Wiltshire, and more observations of the predilection of Goosanders for s....ping with Mallards, Mute Swans and Canada Geese at the local park for bread.
Dick Treleaven (1920–2009)
Bob Emmett (1926–2010)
As usual, a range of reviews, news & comment and a summary of recent reports complete the issue.
For more details, and to see download a recent issue of the magazine, visit our newly revamped website at www.britishbirds.co.uk