British Birds October 2011

The October issue of British Birds is now out.

Report on rare birds in Great Britain in 2010
The 53rd annual report of the British Birds Rarities Committee presents details of rare birds recorded in Britain in 2010 and includes the following highlights:

• 1st Madeiran Petrel Oceanodroma castro, White-bellied/Black-bellied Storm-petrel Fregetta grallaria/tropica
• 1st & 2nd Canada Goose Branta canadensis for Category A
• 2nd Rufous-tailed Robin Luscinia sibilans
• 2nd & 3rd ‘Northern Harrier’ Circus cyaneus hudsonius
• 3rd–6th Wilson’s Snipe Gallinago delicata
• 4th Baikal Teal Anas formosa, Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica and Pallas’s Reed Bunting Emberiza pallasi
• 5th Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater
• 6th frigatebird Fregata sp.
• 6th White-tailed Lapwing Vanellus leucurus and Marmora’s Warbler Sylvia sarda
• 7th Green Heron Butorides virescens, Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum and Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis
• 7th & 8th Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus
• 8th Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
• 9th Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis, ‘Balearic Woodchat Shrike’ Lanius senator badius and Dusky Thrush Turdus eunomus
• 9th & 10th Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus

Just one species, Madeiran Storm-petrel, was added to the British List during the past 12 months, no species were removed from the BBRC list, and, with no significant influxes to add scores of records, it is not surprising that 2010 was, statistically, rather similar to 2009. The number of records handled for 2010, was 526, compared with 521 in 2009; and the overall acceptance rate, 84.4%, was close to the 83.4% of the previous year. The number of records that had a supporting photo increased to 73% this year, up on the average of about two-thirds noted in recent years (Brit. Birds 104: 401). The proportion of photographed records seems set to continue to rise, as cameras become an ever-more-necessary element of equipment carried by field birders. In a similar vein, it was noticeable this year how many sound recordings accompanied records; in total, about 20 were received, which is partly a reflection of the number of Iberian Chiffchaff Phylloscopus ibericus and Savi’s Warbler Locustella luscinioides claims. Continuing the similarity with 2009, the number of records that were assessed purely on photographs provided by the bird information services was around 1%.

Following a complete overhaul, the BBRC website (www.bbrc.org.uk) has been relaunched – please visit the new site. In particular, all observers are urged to use the online rarity submission form. This has been designed this to offer an easy and logical format for recording all the salient information that BBRC require in a rarity submission, so it should help observers and recorders in the same way that it will benefit the BBRC Secretary and voting members when they are indexing and reviewing records. It enables all records, with or without photographs, to be submitted digitally and also allow submitters to keep abreast of the progress of the assessment.

Reviews and news & comment complete the October issue, which is the usual bumper edition to incorporate as many illustrations and as much analysis as possible of the rarities in the BBRC report.

For more details, and to see a recent issue of the magazine, visit our website at www.britishbirds.co.uk